Magpie Inkcap

Poisonous Poisonous
Autumn Autumn
Winter Winter

Poisonous causing alarming symptoms but not affecting everybody. Don’t take a chance!

Mushroom Type
Common Names Magpie Inkcap (EN), Magpie Fungus, Cap Inc Du a Gwyn (CY), Czernidłak pstry (PL), Harkálytintagomba (HU)
Scientific Name Coprinopsis picacea
Synonyms Coprinus picaceus
Season Start Sep
Season End Dec
Average Mushroom height (CM) 7-10
Average Cap width (CM) 5-7
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


5-7 cm. Elongated finger-like shape opening to a cone. Appearing white and shaggy with a black background turning brown/grey to black and then ‘melting’ or deliquescing.


Gills white turning pink to grey to brown until becoming black and ‘melting’. Crowded and free of the stem.


7-10 cm long, 0.4-1.2 cm diameter. White, narrow, usually hollow and with a white movable skirt that is low down on the stem and quite often missing. Can have a slightly hairy bulbous base.




Beech woodland especially on chalky soils.

Possible Confusion

The Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus comatus), pictured, has a white cap with white scales, the Magpie Inkcap has a black cap with white scales.

Spore Print

Black. Ellipsoid.



Other Facts

The resulting mess from leaving this mushroom to deliquesce can be used as a viable ink.


24 comments for Magpie Inkcap

  1. Dave Gosling says:

    Found a group of these in Dartington Hall gardens – not sure how to upload picture.

    1. Poppy Ives says:

      Hi Dave, you can send them to us here or via email to [email protected]

  2. Carl Wright says:

    An enormous patch of them still looking good in Dartington Hall. Rather an unusual location as these are normally associated with alkaline substrates and usually but not exclusively with beech. These are almost certainly associated with yew.

  3. william anderson says:

    found these at pressmenan lake _MG_2790.jpg

  4. Harmonie Limb says:

    Found one of these today at Christmas Common in Oxfordshire

  5. Bev and Rod says:

    A new one for us. Spotted them at Wisley Gardens yesterday 8.9.2020

  6. Kate says:

    Found a group of these yesterday in Dulwich Park, south London.

  7. Louise Healy says:

    Found in Hockley Woods, Essex this morning

  8. ALWYN LINDLEY says:

    Growing on our garden for the first time. We live on the edge of woodland south of Canterbury.

  9. Linda Young says:

    I saw a patch of about 6 in Westonbirt Arboretum. I’ve never seen one before.

  10. Linda Barber says:

    Spotted one in Blake’s Wood, Little Baddow, Essex, yesterday 30/10/2020

  11. Sheila Compton says:

    Found several of these at Malshanger near Basingstoke, never seen one before. Under a Beech tree which apparently they like.

  12. Jo Thrower says:

    A few seen today at Coopers Hill south of Cheltenham, a beach forest on iron age hillfort.

    1. Chantal says:

      Like Sheila Compton saw several under a beech tree at Malshanger, near Basingstoke. Under same tree, puffballs and another fungi species I didn’t know the name off.

  13. Maria White says:

    Saw two Magpie fungi on North Wessex Downs (Cake Wood) October 2021. Impressive.

  14. Julie Guest says:

    Found several of these under oak trees in the garden where we sometimes have logs delivered, hence the rotting wood particles in the area.

  15. Sarah Perkins says:

    Found 2 in Browns wood in Bedford today.

  16. Norah McLoughlin says:

    Found on today in No Dragon Wood, SW Herts

  17. Jo Walter says:

    Saw today in Sulham Woods, Tilehurst, Reading.

  18. Graham Taylor-Paddick says:

    Found three today at Whiteleaf in Buckinghamshire. I took pictures too if you show me how to upload them.

  19. Susan Kay says:

    Found three at the Arundel Wetlands on 27th October.

  20. Jeremy Warnes says:

    A rather spectacular solitary specimen in South Norfolk in a pile of woodchip. Have a picture if someone can explain how/where to upload.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      You can send photos to [email protected]

  21. Rupert Lawrence says:

    Found 29/10/23 Credenhill Woods, Herefordshire, site of Iron Age hill fort. Can supply photos if wanted

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *