Devil Finger Mushroom

I first stumbled upon the fascinating world of mushroom growing when I encountered the peculiar Devil’s Finger Mushroom. The Devil’s Finger, also known as Clathrus archeri, is a unique fungus that belongs to the Phallaceae family. Its eerie appearance and captivating lifecycle make it a captivating subject for any mushroom enthusiast.

Appearance and Lifecycle

The Devil’s Finger Mushroom emerges from an egg-like structure, revealing its bright red, finger-like arms that are connected at the top. The arms are covered in a dark, foul-smelling spore mass, which aids in attracting flies for spore dispersal. As the mushroom matures, the arms unfold and stretch out, resembling a hand reaching from the ground, hence its name.


Cultivating Devil’s Finger Mushroom can be a rewarding yet challenging experience. The process begins with obtaining the mushroom spawn, which can be sourced from reputable suppliers or collected from the wild, although caution is advised when foraging for wild mushrooms. The spawn is then introduced to a suitable substrate, preferably rich in organic matter such as compost or straw, and kept in a warm, humid environment.

Key Considerations for Cultivation:

  • Optimal Temperature: Devil’s Finger Mushroom thrives in warm temperatures ranging from 75-85°F.
  • Humidity Levels: Maintaining humidity levels at around 85-90% is crucial for successful cultivation.
  • Light Exposure: Indirect light is preferred, as direct sunlight can be detrimental to the delicate mushroom.

Utilization and Culinary Aspects

While Devil’s Finger Mushroom is not typically consumed due to its pungent odor and unpalatable taste, it holds cultural and culinary significance in certain regions. In Japan, the mature fruiting body of the fungus is used as an offering in religious ceremonies, symbolizing the ephemeral nature of life.


The Devil’s Finger Mushroom is undeniably a captivating specimen in the realm of mycology. Its peculiar appearance and intriguing lifecycle offer a glimpse into the diverse and enigmatic world of fungi. Whether you’re a seasoned mushroom cultivator or a curious enthusiast, exploring the realm of Devil’s Finger Mushroom cultivation and observation is a journey filled with wonder and fascination.