Magpie Inkcap (Coprinopsis picacea) Identification

Magpie Inkcap / Autumn / Toxic


Scientific name

Coprinopsis picacea


Family


Psathyrellaceae


Habitat

Magpie inkcaps grow in deciduous woodland, preferring beech trees and alkaline soils. Occasionally they can be found in damp shady grassland. Often a single mushroom or very small numbers grow in one spot.


Description

Magpie inkcaps are bell shaped mushrooms with a long white stem and an awful smell.

Henk Monster, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 


Identifying features:


Cap: 

Dark brown cap with white fibrils, starting off egg shaped,  becoming long bell shaped. The cap can reach upto 7cm, at maturity the cap will start to deliquescing (liquifying into its spore mass)

Katya from Moscow, Russia, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem:

Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Tall white stem which is floccose (covered in wooly tufts) its bulbous at the base.


Gills

Adnate or free gills which are white, turning red then black as they deliques


Smell:

Muck, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Strong unpleasant chemical smell


Spores:

Black


Uses

Can be used as an ink for writing


In Food

This mushroom is toxic and must not be eaten


Known Hazards

Toxic


Potential lookalikes 

Shaggy inkcap, common inkcap

 

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