Coprinus comatus Coprinaceae Shaggy Ink Cap

Coprinus comatus 39kb

Coprinus comatus, Shaggy Inkcap. This species is often found on disturbed ground, where soil has been dumped, or in grassland. The cylindrical white caps can push up very hard soil or even tarmac. As they age, they deliquesce i.e. auto-digest themselves from the bottom of the cap upwards, turning into black ink, hence the name. This substance was actually used as ink in times gone by, and the spores may be found in the writing of old documents. When young the cap is pure white and the gills within a pale pink, and at this stage it is very good eating, however, if there is any hint of black then it is too late and must be discarded. Quite common some years in Guernsey.

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