Thursday, October 11, 2012

inky cap ~ 10/11/12 ~ Memorial Park

a type of inky cap
a coprinoid mushroom
(now separated out to Coprinellus, Coprinopsis, Coprinus, and Parasola)

Sometimes it's wonderful not knowing.  Too often these days, I see something and my brain immediately starts compartmentalizing, looking for identifying features, and trying to remember names.  I forget to simply enjoy the elegant beauty of nature without labels and allow my imagination to run wild.  As I knelt in the sand to take these photographs, it struck me how this mushroom's translucence gave it an almost luminescent quality under the stormy skies.  Upon closer inspection the cap reminded me of a hand dyed pleated chiffon couture skirt. Enchanting.

Having no idea which 4 inch tall mushroom I found and after some trial and error, an online image search led me to the Coprinus name.  I can't tell if the substrate is sand or the nearby tree root (shown in both photos above).  I would have liked to include more links in the ID, but I don't have a clue as to sp.  Plus, many sites are either woefully incomplete or appear to exaggerate claims made about these fascinating fungi, which I'm not going to repeat. Michael Kuo's MushroomExpert.Com (linked above) provided the most succinct, detailed, and accurate summary.  Here's a live link to the late Kees Ulj√©'s Coprinus site.  Back in 2004 Tom Volk offered a conversational discussion as to the changing systematics of inky caps.  If anyone knows which sp. I show above, I'd love to hear from you.

4 comments:

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John W. Wall said...

I've always loved a descriptive term for these guys: deliquescence. It's what makes the cap go inky. Shaggy Mane, a really good edible, is in this group, and it's weird to taste something so wonderful, knowing that in a couple of days it would have deliquesced into a puddle of ink.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hey, John. I wish I had known about deliquescing gills when I found this, because I would have tried to go back later to see how it progressed. I'm still not comfortable enough with 'shroom ID to eat wild ones. Steve Brill talks about how shaggy manes have the texture of fish and warns not to eat it while consuming alcohol: http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Shaggy%20Mane.html
I was actually hoping you'd be able to help me ID this inky cap a little further since you had such a wonderful collection of ID'd 'shrooms from Mt. Tam.

Jennifer said...

I think it's cute!