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Coprinus comatus

Common name: Shaggy mane
Spore Print: Black
Habitat: Grows in grassy areas
Edibility: Edible
Comments: This delicious mushroom is really easy to identify, at least for experienced mushroom hunters! It is a Coprinus and will 'deliquesce' with age. This means that it dissolves into a black mass when it matures, a unique means of spore dispersal. Only the young, unopened buttons are edible. Once the gills turn black they should not be eaten. Also, be careful when consuming alcohol since these can have an adverse reaction and make you very sick! The relatively large size of this mushroom is also a distinguishing feature. One thing you should watch out for, since they like grassy areas, is to aviod eating any of them that have been growing in grass that has no weeds (this probably means that a herbicide has been used on the grass and the mushrooms will concentrate this, rendering them inedible!). This mushroom can be found any time of the year, but the main season is late fall or early winter after the 'prime' mushroom season has come to a close. This mushroom is also famous for destroying blacktop roads. It will push right up through the blacktop and destroy it.

Click on 'My Species List' above for more detailed descriptions of individual mushrooms!

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Page Posted on August 10, 2004
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Mushroom Identification