Magpie Fungus

Poisonous Poisonous
Autumn Autumn
Winter Winter

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

Mushroom Type
Common Names Magpie Fungus, Magpie Inkcap
Scientific Name Coprinus picaceus
Season Start Sep
Season End Dec
Average Mushroom height (CM) 25
Average Cap width (CM) 5
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


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


Gills white turning pink to grey to brown until becoming black and ‘melting’.


White, narrow, usually hollow and with a white movable skirt, sometimes stained black with spores and can have a slightly hairy bulbous base.




Beech woodland especially on chalky soils.

Possible Confusion

The Shaggy Inkcap, pictured, has a white cap with white scales, the Magpie Fungus 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.


14 comments for Magpie Fungus

  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.

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