A pretty damsel adorning a bridal veil.

the veiled lady fungi

The veiled lady, or the bridal veil stinkhorn as it is popularly known, belongs to the fungi family of stinkhorns. A mature stinkhorn has a phallic structure which is about 10-15cm high and with a cap on top, skirted with a net/membrane (indusium), and hence its scientific name, phallus indusiatus. The veiled lady mushroom is edible, and enjoys an elite status for its medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. Indeed, an obscure study states that the smell emanating from these mushrooms can trigger spontaneous orgasms in human females!

bridal veil stinkhorn

Insects and ants are attracted to the odoriferous viscous slime (known as gleba) from the cap above, which contains the fungi spores for reproduction. This ensures an efficient dispersal of the spores for regeneration elsewhere, for a mushroom which is alive only for a few hours or days.

Reference

  1. Dash, P. K., D. K. Sahu, S. Sahoo, and R. Das, 2010: Phallus indusiatus Vent. & Pers.(Basidiomycetes)-a new generic record for Eastern Ghats of India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 2, 1096-1098.
  2. Soule, N., 2001: Spontaneous Female Orgasms Triggered by the Smell of a Newly Found Tropical Dictyophora Desv. Species. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 3.
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