Shaggy Mane Mushroom: Coprinaceae (Ink Caps) Coprinus comatus
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Photo Details
1.  Fresh specimen, 2.  Cap turned inky with age and melting into an ink-like liquid, 3.  Gills turned inky with age. May 24, 2005 - Draper, Salt Lake County, Utah - ©Nicky Davis

The caps and gills of the fungi in this family (many known as inky caps) blacken and melt into an inklike liquid.  This spore-containing liquid drips to the ground renewing itself.  The Shaggy Mane is 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches wide with a 3-8 inch stem. The cap is columnar, white with brown top and scales with flaring edges.  The stem is white with a collar and a bulbous base. Gills are free from the stem. The spores are black.  This mushroom grows in lawns, pastures and roadsides.  Shaggy manes can be eaten only if fresh and are said to be very tasty.  They cannot  be eaten after they have started to melt as they may become toxic.  Mushrooms absorb pollution easily from the air so eating this mushroom if found by the roadside can be dangerous.

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