Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fascinating Fungi by Garden Castle Shed Shaggy Mane Coprinus Comatus

Here is the photo at the end of the last blog entry. These mushrooms have been popping up in the same spot for months, I always cut them down while they are still in a round shape. The dark edge looked so interesting I did a search to identify them.

Wikipedia entry says:
"Coprinus comatus, the shaggy ink cap, lawyer's wig, or shaggy mane, is a common fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. The young fruit bodies first appear as white cylinders emerging from the ground, then the bell-shaped caps open out. The caps are white, and covered with scales—this is the origin of the common names of the fungus. The gills beneath the cap are white, then pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores (hence the “ink cap” name). This mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores."

The morning after the first photo there was quite a change, the large central mushroom with the black lacy edge has now grown taller and thinner and the mushroom is flat and dripping with black ink. The mushroom at the front is opening and staining the cement edging.

Here is a close-up of the dripping ink.

By late afternoon the mushroom at the front was dripping with ink.

I had to see what the ink was like. When I pulled my finger under the edge the ink on the gills showed up in lines. Very interesting little fungi.

Even though they are edible before they turn to ink they will not be making their way to my mushroom soup.

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