Shaggy Ink Caps
|Common Name 2||Lawyers wig|
|Common Name 3||Judges Wig|
|Latin Name||Coprinus comatus|
|Maximum height (CM)||40|
|Maximum width (CM)||15|
|Gills||White turning pink and then grey to black when they start to 'melt' from the edges.|
|Spore Print||Blackish brown.|
|Stem||White sometimes hollow, long, thin and with a slight ring that detatches easily. Slightly swollen base.|
|Cap||Finger shaped, long cylindrical cap starting to melt from the bottom edges into a conical shape. White with off-white/pale tan scales turning grey black, can have a pink tinge.
|Habitat||Grows in grass by the sides of roads, lawns, flower beds and recently disturbed soil. Can be found individually or in large numbers.|
|Taste||Very good when young. One of my favorites for creamy sauces and because it can found in large numbers.|
|Possible Confusion||You are unlikely to confuse this species with anything else except when the emerging young fungi first appears.|
Very common. One of these delicate mushrooms was reported as lifting a 75 by 60 centimetre paving slab 4 centimetres in 48 hours.
This mushroom is absolutely delicious but has an extremely short shelf life. If you leave one on your table overnight you will come down to a black ink stain on the table in the morning.
If you cook with these when the caps are on the turn, they will dye everything you cook with them black.
If the caps have started to open when you pick them you will have to eat them that day. Young ones may last 48 hours in the fridge if you are lucky. You can make younger ones last a bit longer in the fridge if you remove the stem before chilling; this seems to delay the transformation into ink.
You can also make some very good ink from them. To do this mix the ink cap ink with a little water and some cloves and heat it. This process will help fix the ink and stop it from fading or running when you use it.