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Observation 10977: Coprinus Pers.

When: 2008-09-12

Collection location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada [Click for map]

Who: GoFinkle

No specimen available

Hey Guys, This morning I went mushroom hunting and found only two little mushrooms on some bales of hay out in the country. I live in Ottawa Ontario Canada and I was just wondering what type of mushroom you guys think this is by just looking at it. I dont have time to do specs now but they will be posted later thanks. The mushrooms spore print looks black with a little bit of purplish. Thanks!

Species Lists


Proposed Names

-61% (2)
Recognized by sight
83% (1)
Recognized by sight: Look at the tattered margin, that is not characteristic of psilocybe. I think the “blue” is just black gills showing through the translucent cap.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
not anymore
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2008-09-12 14:17:11 EDT (-0400)

Professional mycology types change the names so often who can keep up? This is more a philosophy of language problem than a strictly taxonomic problem. The name “coprinus” once upon a time referred to all the ink-caps, but somebody comes along and splits the genus and the whole world is supposed to learn a new set of names. The constant name changing makes it difficult for non-specialists to communicate about the mushrooms they routinely encounter.

Wittgenstein so wisely noted that “A word’s meaning is its use in a language”. Lexographers agree, but the esoteric concerns of taxonomists always seem to trump popular agreement about the meanings of mushroom names.

One beauty of the voting system here at is a return to popular assent about the extension of names.

The little inky caps in this observation are still Coprinus, regardless of recent work to divide the genus into more specific natural categories. I do not doubt the new names represent real differences between natural kinds, however, I see no justification for retroactively restricting the extension of the word “Coprinus”. “Parasola”, “Coprinopsis”, and “Coprinellus” are all good names because they pick out identifiable kinds of mushrooms, but they should be viewed as subsets of Coprinus, not taxa of equal rank alongside Coprinus.

That’s my story anyhow, and Nathan lets me vote here :)

I think you’re right Dan; the “blue” is an artifact.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-09-12 13:24:49 EDT (-0400)

On closer inspection, it does look like an inky cap, but probably NOT a Coprinus sp., at least not anymore…

Hay, nice shrooms! Blue stainers….
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-09-12 10:51:40 EDT (-0400)

…could they be Psilocybe? As to species, I’ll leave that to our blue stainer experts…