The substantial features of the ancient Dionysiac rites, including a ritual play by "goat-men" carrying a wooden phallus, may still be seen at Bizye, the old residence of the Thracian kings.
At Cyllene in Elis a mere phallus served as his emblem, and was highly venerated in the time of Pausanias (vi.
The little finger, digitus, 56.KTU%os, is interpreted as the phallus by Georg Kaibel (Gottinger Nachrichten, 1901, p. 513).
Many fungi (Phallus, Agaricus, Fumago, &c.) when strongly growing put out ribbon-like or cylindrical cords, or sheet-like mycelial plates of numerous parallel hyphae, all growing together equally, and fusing by anastomoses, and in this way extend long distances in the soil, or over the surfaces of leaves, branches, &c. These mycelial strands may be white and tender, or the outer hyphae may be hard and black, and very often the resemblance of the subterranean forms to a root is so marked that they are termed rhizomorphs.
These reserve stores may be packed away in single hyphae or in swollen cells, but the hyphae containing them are often gathered into thick cords or mycelial strands (Phallus, mushroom, &c.), or flattened and anastomosing ribbons and plates, often containing several kinds of hyphae (Merulius lacrymans).
Among those directly visible to the microscope are oil drops, often coloured (Uredineae) crystals of calcium oxalate (Phallus, Russula), proteid crystals (Mucor, Pilobolus, &c.) and resin (Polyporei).
In many cases the slimy masses of spermatia (Uredineae), conidia (Claviceps), basidiospores (Phallus, Coprinus), &c., emit more or less powerful odours, which attract flies or other insects, and it has been shown that bees carry the flagrant oidia of Sclerotinia to the stigma of Vaccinium and infect it, and that flies carry away the foetid spores of Phallus, just as pollen is dispersed by such insects.
Phallus impudicus, the stink-horn, is occasionally found growing in woods in Britain.
Like Hermes, Dionysus was a god of the productiveness of nature, and hence Priapus was one of his regular companions, while not only in the mysteries but in the rural festivals his symbol, the phallus, was carried about ostentatiously.
The phallus alone she did not find, but she consecrated a model thereof; hence (says the myth) came the phallus-worship of Egypt.