This section is from the book "Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc.", by George Francis Atkinson. Also available from Amazon: Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc..
Dictyophora means "net bearer," and as one can see from Fig. 212 it is not an inappropriate name. The stem or receptacle, as one can see from the illustrations of the two species treated of here, possesses a very coarse mesh, so that not only the surface but the substance within is reticulated, pitted and irregularly perforated. In the genus Dictyophora an outer layer of the receptacle or stem is separated as it elongates, breaks away from the lower part of the stem, is carried aloft, and hangs as a beautiful veil. This veil is very conspicuous in some species and less so in others.
Dictyophora duplicata (Bosc.) Ed. Fischer. - This species is illustrated in Fig. 212, made from plants collected at Ithaca. The plants are from 15-22 cm. high, the cap about 5 cm. in diameter, and the stem 2-3 cm. in thickness. According to Burt (Bot. Gaz. 22:387, 1896) it is a common species in the Eastern United States. The cap is more or less bell-shaped and the sculptured surface is marked in a beautiful manner with the reticulations.
Plate 83. Figure 212. - Dictyophora duplicata. White (natural size).
Plate 84, Figure 213
Dictyophora ravenelii. Mature plants, showing volva at base; elongated receptacle, cap at the top, and veil surrounding the receptacle under the cap (natural size). Copyright.
Dictyophora ravenelii (B. & C.) Burt. - This plant also has a wide distribution in the Eastern United States. The stem is more slender than in the other species, D. duplicata, the pile-us more nearly conic, and the surface of the pileus is merely granular or minutely wrinkled after the disappearance of the gleba, and does not present the strong reticulating ridges and crests which that species shows. The plants are from 10 to 18 cm. high. It grows in woods and fields about rotting wood, and in sawdust. The veil is very thin and delicate, forming simply a membrane, and does not possess the coarse meshes present in the veil of D. duplicata. The Figs. 214, 215 represent the different stages in the elongation of the receptacle of this plant, and the rupture of the volva. This elongation takes place quite rapidly. While photographing the plant as it was bursting through the volva, I had considerable difficulty in getting a picture, since the stem elongated so rapidly that the plant would show that it had moved perceptibly, and the picture would be blurred.
Dictyophora ravenelii. Egg stage, caps just bursting through the volva (natural size). Copyright.
Dictyophora ravenelii. Sections of eggs, and showing cords of mycelium (natural size). Copyright.
In a woods near Ithaca a large number of these plants have appeared from year to year in a pile of sawdust. One of the most vile smelling plants of this family is the Ithyphattus impudicus.