The Poca Post announces the release of a new stamp recognizing the official mushroom of the Poca River.
The mushroom is commonly known as a "stinkhorn" (genus Phallus, var. fridlii). The fungus is very closely related to the more common Phallus ravenelii which is often found in sawdust piles and old lumber yards east of the Mississippi River.
The Poca variant gets its name from an incident that occurred in 1887 in a lumbering area north of the Poca. A lumberjack, Fulton Fridley, passed away on a cold January day as he was working a buck saw. His co-workers, unable to inter him because of frozen ground, buried him in a sawdust pile until the spring thaw.
When they returned in the spring to bury the body, they found a P. fridlii mushroom growing on the sawdust. Thinking that they were seeing a portion of Mr. Fridley pushing up through the sawdust, they fled as quickly as possible fearing that Fridley had spectral powers. When cooler heads prevailed, the truth was discovered. Following the incident this variety of the mushroom became locally known as the Fridley Toadstool, and has been recorded in the annuls of mycology as Phallus fridlii. According to the scientific literature, the fungus is edible, but not recommended.
The stamp is issued in a pane of 20 stamps, and in the denomination of 67 pu.