This season's prolific 'flowering' has appeared on decaying pine roots at the edge of a heap of old trimmings. But I have a cold and I have barely noticed the smell as I close in for daily progress shots with my camera. Individual specimens unfurl over a day and wilt by the end of their second day. I haven't noticed a lot of fly activity and wonder if these are not particularly potent. Maybe that explains their thirty year absence.
But I want to know more. Surely with the wonders of Google it will be a simple matter to identify this species; find its Maori name; determine whether it is edible or not? But knowing what questions to ask is crucial and finding the right questions means out-thinking the search engines! No one specialist site addresses all my wonderings. A complicating factor is that the term stinkhorn in New Zealand has broadened to include fungus baskets, which are a related species but are certainly not horn-shaped. They appear readily in the winter here and made an appearance in Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden last year. Initially every search I made took me to Ileodictyon cibarium. However, the form which I have identified as Aseroe rubra, does have a distinct tube rising from the basal 'egg' and flaring out into six arms.