Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus)

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Shaggy Ink Cap

The Shaggy Ink Cap is a common mushroom of grassy areas at roadsides or open woodland, particularly in the vicinity of birch trees. It grows to a height of about 9 inches to a foot and is not easily confused with other species. The gills are white or pinkish and slowly turn black from the edges, eventually turning into a black inky sludge - hence the name 'ink cap'. It's best collected before this occurs, but small black bits can be cut off. It also needs to be used quickly once collected. It's delicious fried with bacon and has a strong taste and can be found from late summer onwards, but October is the best month.