Long, tapered, pinkish orange column; top part with a greenish brown, smelly slime coating; white cup around the base. Grows on leafy debris, mulch piles, and rotting wood. July–September. Fruiting body cylindrical, hollow column, straight or curving, pinkish orange, tapering toward the top; top covered with a slimy, greenish brown, unpleasant-smelling spore mass, with a small opening at the tip; base enclosed in a white, saclike cup that is attached to the ground by a white, cordlike tissue. Spores greenish brown. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth. This is a weird-looking mushroom, and once you see it, you’ll always remember it.
Lookalikes: The dog stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus) is very similar. Recent research indicates they may be the same species.