Mutinus caninus emerges from an egg-like protective structure. The sponge-like stem is somewhat fragile, hollow and mostly white. The well-formed tip is bright red beneath a layer of green-black slime, or gleba, in which the spores are encased. Like other stinkhorns, it has an odor of rotting flesh, which attracts flies and other creatures who serve as vectors for distributing the spores by contact with their body parts or through feces. Not as common as its close look-alike, the Elegant Stinkhorn (Mutinus elegans), it is edible in the button stage. Fruits in summer and fall on woody debris, soil, and leaf litter, easpecially following rains.