Identify Glistening Ink Caps

How to Identify Glistening Ink Caps

Wild Mushroom – Edible not worth while

Common Names

Glistening Ink Cap, Mica Ink Cap  

Botanical Name 

Coprinellus micaceus

Meaning of Botanical Name 

Coprinellus meaning living on dung (which many of this family do but not this one),  micaceus meaning like grains of salt

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Fungi, 


Class: Agaricomycetes, 

Order: Agaricales,

Family: Psathyrellaceae

Genus: Coprinellus  

Known Hazards

It must be cooked before it liquifies 

Could Be Confused With

Fairy Ink Cap ( These mushrooms are much smaller, don’t have the grainy cap and more grey in colour)

Food Of

Slugs and the like.

Range and Distribution

Common throughout Britain and Ireland, Europe, America, Australia and Aisa.


 Growing on or beside broad leaf tree stumps 

Physical Characteristics

This mushroom grows in large numbers, the brown caps are bell shaped flattening out with age, with striations and what look like grains of salt on the cap that glisten in the sunlight (these can be washed off by rain). As the cap ages it becomes blackish from the cap edge up to the centre, as the spores mature the cap liquifies to release the spores. The gills are white becoming purplish brown as they age and black when they’re liquifying. The stem is white becoming brownish towards the base and very brittle often snapping under the weight of the cap when picked.


Some research has been done looking into the antimicrobial properties in this mushroom, alongside this,  how it can inhibit the growth of certain cancers.

Edible Uses

This mushroom is classed as edible but not worthwhile. The flesh is incredibly thin and disappears to nothing when cooked

Other info

This mushroom absorbs heavy metals from the soils so avoid harvesting from road sides.