Mental Floss

27 Hilariously Nasty Sounding Mushroom Species Names

Arika Okrent
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JerzyOpioła, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Mushroom hunters and the authors of field guides have long come up with names that reference various characteristics of color, texture, shape, and smell using English or Latin. Some are strictly practical, but others are a little ... stranger. For example, way back in 1753, the mushroom pictured above was assigned the scientific name Phallus impudicus. Its common name is the shameless stinkhorn.

Mushrooms have a certain … suggestiveness about them that has long been noticed and acknowledged by those who study them, and there’s something about looking through a whole list of them together that cannot help but conjure up the most disgusting mycological orgy you never even knew could be imagined. I made the mistake of casually flipping through Eyewitness Handbooks: Mushrooms, and now, since I cannot bear the weight of this alone, I offer you these 27 other hilariously nasty sounding mushroom species names from the book.

1. BREAD DOUGH CLITOPILUS

Archenzo, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 

Scientific name: Clitopilus prunulus

2. EURO SLIMY LACTARIUS

Jean-Pol Grandmont, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.5

Scientific name: Lactarius blennius

3. PUNGENT FALSE BLEWIT

Scientific name: Lepista irina

4. YELLOW-STAINING TRICH

Stribilomyces, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Tricholoma scalpturatum

5. DIRTY TRICH COMPLEX

Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Tricholoma atrosquamosum

6. PURPLISH ENTOLOMA

Dan Molter, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Entoloma porphyrophaeum

7. SHEATHED CORT

James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Cortinarius torvus

8. DRY SCALY PHOLIOTA

Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Pholiota squarrosa

9. FRECKLE-GILLED GYM

bernd gliwa, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.5

Scientific name: Gymnopilus penetrans

10. COMMON STUMP PSATHYRELLA

Strobilomyces, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Psathyrella piluliformis

11. COMMON RINGED PANAEOLIS

Jörg Hempel, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Scientific name: Panaeolus semiovatus

12. EURO SPINDLE-SHANK COLLYBIA

Strobilomyces, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Collybia fusipes

13. FETID RUSSULA

Thkgk, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Russula foetens

14. TINY ORANGE-CAP MYCENA

Scott Darbey, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Sceintific name: Mycena acicula

15. STOUT-STALKED AMANITA

H. Krisp, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Scientific name: Amanita spissa

16. COCKLESHELL LENTINELLUS

Danny S., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Lentinellus cochleatus

17. EARTH-BALL BOLETE

Lebrac, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Boletus parasiticus

18. YELLOW-PORED SCABER-STALK

Paffka, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Leccinum crocipodium

19. TINDER POLYPORE

Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Fomes fomentarius

20. TREMBLING PHILEBIA

Dan Molter, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Phlebia tremellosa

21. HAIRY STEREUM

Norbert Nagel, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Stereum hirsutum

22. RIGID LEATHER BRACKET

ceridwen, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Hymenochaete rubiginosa

23. TOOTHED JELLY

Wikimedia Commons

Scientific name: Pseudohydnum gelatinosum

24. SCALY EARTH-TONGUE ASCO

Nga Manu Images NZ, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Scientific name: Geoglossum fallax

25. CRAMP BALLS ASCO

Tony Hisgett, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Daldinia concentrica

26. PUFFBALL-IN-ASPIC

Dan Molter, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientific name: Calostoma cinnabarina

27. BROWN LEAFY JELLY

H. Krisp, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Scientific name: Tremella foliacea

Banner image courtesy of iStock.

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