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Egg stage of Mutinus ravenelii
The egg is only about 1-2 cm tall. The section shows the thick, gelatinous layer just inside the outer wall (= peridium). In the top half of the picture, the dark olive-green is the spore mass (= basidiospores). At the centre of the upper half we see the bright red tissue of the head. In the bottom half at the centre we see the compressed tissue of the central columella that will eventually become the stalk. When the mushroom is mature, and conditions are right, the columella tissue takes up water and expands rapidly to full size in as little as 30 minutes (CLICK HERE). As it does so, the spores and gelatin are pushed upwards and mix to form the evil smelling goo on the cap that is so attractive to flies. The whole process is probably hastened along by enzymatic activity.