Observation 116567: Coprinus comatus (O.F. Müll.) Pers.

When: 2012-11-13

Collection location: San Francisco, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: TaxoNerd (Taxo)

No specimen available

Suspected Coprinus comatus, “Inky Cap”

Found 11/11/12

Pileus -

2 – 6 cm wide, 2.5 – 10.5 cm tall; when young, smooth overall, shiny, brown-tan in color; becoming white in overall color with brown-tan scales lifting up from the cap, providing a “shaggy” appearance in maturity; young specimens quite firm, cap becoming delicate as the specimens reach maturity, later blackening, splitting radially along the margin, and deliquescing with age, brown-tan scale remaining on apex of cap.

Lamellae -

Free, not attached to stipe; very crowded and dense gill spacing; gills white when young, becoming pink-gray and ultimately black with age, showing a gradient from white to pink-gray to black from the apex of the cap to the margin; gill edges showing pink-gray with black gill surface; deliquescing along with cap at margin, moving toward apex of cap with age.

Stipe -

4 – 20 cm long, 1 – 1.5 cm wide, becoming bulbous at base, with base up to 2.5 cm in diameter; hollow, delicate; white inside, brown-black streaking on outside, with black spore deposits on some specimens; easily pulled from substrate; veil remnant, even ring present on some stems.

Spores -

Spore print black, appearing only below deliquescing portions of pileus.

Habitat -

In grass, on manicured lawn and adjacent woodchips; specimens on woodchips somewhat more firm; found on 11/11/2012, 1 – 2 days after most recent rain, which was the second or third decent rain of the fall. Northwest portion of San Francisco, CA.

Comments -

Some of the youngest specimens were completely brown-tan, and very firm, perhaps too firm to eat; these were easy to spot about 30 minutes after sunset, with minimal light, natural or man-made, even the darker and smaller young specimens were relatively easy to spot quickly, and remove. The flesh of the younger species was much less delicate, and whether or not the specimen was worth picking is fairly obvious by simply grasping the sporocarp before pulling it up.

Mushrooms showing no deliquescing were separated, cleaned, and placed in an open tray in the refrigerator overnight. These specimens remained firm, and perfect for cooking. Using a non-stick pan on medium-high heat, the thinly sliced mushrooms were cooked briefly, approximately 1 – 2 minutes, at which point oil and butter were added. This allowed the mushrooms to maintain their structure and firmness after cooking. Avoid cooking on low-med heat, and adding butter and oil at the start of cooking, this results in a formless mush.



Proposed Names

53% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: On manicured lawn, large size, delicate structure, “shaggy” cap, deliquescing cap
Used references: Mykoweb, Audubon Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, Mushroom Expert

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Created: 2012-11-13 04:17:47 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2013-07-22 16:25:33 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 24 times, last viewed: 2017-06-14 10:39:25 CDT (-0400)
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