Widespread fungus recognizable for its foul odor and its phallic shape when mature, the latter feature giving rise to several names in 17th-century England. It is a common mushroom in Europe and western North America, where it occurs in habitats rich in wood debris such as forests and mulched gardens. It appears from summer to late autumn. The fruiting structure is tall and white with a slimy, dark olive colored conical head. Known as the gleba, this material contains the spores, and is transported by insects which are attracted by the odor – described as resembling carrion. Despite its foul smell, it is not poisonous and the young mushroom is consumed in parts of France and Germany.
The common stinkhorn can be found throughout much of Europe and North America, and it has also been collected in Asia and southeast Australia.