Shaggy Mane Mushroom

(Coprinus comatus)

A member of the ink cap family, the shaggy mane is large and quite distinctive in appearance. This makes it an excellent target for first novice mushroom hunters. The shaggy mane is the largest of a group of edible mushrooms called inky caps. The field guides listed at the below can help you identify other members of this group as well.

Other Names:
Shaggy ink cap, Lawyer's wig, or Shaggy mane

Range:

Family:
Coprinaceae – Ink Cap family

Growth Type:
The cap of the shaggy mane is long, white, cylindrical, with shaggy, upturned, brownish scales. It is 4"- 6: tall, with whitish gills. As the shaggy mane ages, the cap and gills become black, and inky; they eventually dissolve, leaving only the standing stalk.

Cap:
1¼" - 2" wide, and 1 5/8" - 6" high; cylindrical, gradually expanding as gills liquify, leaving only stalk; dry, covered with flat scales becoming down-curled; white with light reddish-brown scales.

Stem:
2 3/8" - 8"long, 3/8" - ¾" thick; bulbous, white; hollow, with central strand of minute fibers.
Veil: partial veil leaving ring on lower part of stalk.

Gills:
Free or nearly so, very crowded; white becoming black and inky from margin to stalk top.

Spores:
11-15 x 6.3-8.5 µ; smooth, elliptical, blunt, with pore at tip.

Spore Print:
Black

Height:
4" - 6" tall

Miscellaneous characteristics:
N/A.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Description:

Cylindrical, shaggy-scaly, white cap turning inky from liquifying gills.

Cap: 1¼" - 2" wide, and 1 5/8" - 6" high; cylindrical, gradually expanding as gills liquify, leaving only stalk; dry, covered with flat scales becoming down-curled; white with light reddish-brown scales.

Gills: free or nearly so, very crowded; white becoming black and inky from margin to stalk top.

Stalk: 2 3/8" - 8"long, 3/8" - ¾" thick; bulbous, white; hollow, with central strand of minute fibers.

Veil: partial veil leaving ring on lower part of stalk.

Spores: 11-15 x 6.3-8.5 µ; smooth, elliptical, blunt, with pore at tip.

Season:
May - early June: September - October; November-January in Southeast.

Habitat:
Scattered to clustered and common, in grass, wood chips, and hard-packed soil.

Parts Used:
Fruiting body

Cautions:
Shaggy manes are best when picked before the caps begin to turn black. Until you become proficient at identifying this edible, it may be necessary to check for the developing ink to make sure you have the correct mushroom.

Uses:
Wild Food Uses:
Can be eaten raw, or cooked

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
None Known

Medicinal Actions:
N/A

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