Common Inkcap

Poisonous Poisonous
Autumn Autumn
Spring Spring
Summer Summer

This mushroom is known for causing severe poisoning when consumed with alcohol, but there are suggestions that it also has longer lasting health effects, therefore we moved it to the poisonous section and can’t recommend eating it. See more below.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Common Inkcap, Tipplers Bane
Scientific Name Coprinopsis atramentaria
Synonyms Coprinus atramentarius
Season Start Apr
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 10
Average Cap width (CM) 8
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

Shiny grey/brown or sometimes quite pink, smooth, darker in the middle and initially bell-shaped becoming furrowed and then splitting before deliquescing.

Gills

White and crowded turning to grey then black and deliquescing, melting to a black ink.

Stem

White to off white, smooth and leaving a skirt like ring near the base of the stem.

Flesh

White and thin turning grey/black before deliquescing.

Habitat

Growing from buried wood so can be found in mixed woodland and by the sides of paths.

Possible Confusion

Some of the other Inkcaps look superficially similar but its shape and smooth cap are quite distinctive identification features.
See the good edible Shaggy Inkcap and the inedible but beautiful Magpie Inkcap.

Spore Print

Date brown. Almond shaped.

Taste / Smell

Mushroomy.¬†Shouldn’t be ingested raw, causes poisoning when ingested with alcohol and we don’t recommend eating it in any circumstance. See more below under other facts.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Other Facts

WARNING: The Common Inkcap causes severe poisoning if consumed with alcohol 48 hours either side of eating the mushroom. Even applying alcohol based aftershave after eating it can cause a reaction. It was still listed as edible in some guides if alcohol was avoided. Recent studies suggest that it contains toxins with a carcinogenic potential and some authorities advise it shouldn’t be consumed at all, therefore we can’t recommend eating it.

The black mess left after the mushroom deliquesces used to be used as ink after boiling with a little water and cloves, or urine.

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