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Two inkcap mushrooms can be found here, the common inkcap and the shaggy inkcap. You may also find a third : glistening inkcap (Coprinus micaceus), which is smaller and redder when young.

COMMON INKCAP MUSHROOM : Coprinopsis atramentaria

The Woodland Trust tells us that this species is sticky and useful. Inkcaps were used as a source of ink for important documents to guard against forgeries.

These grow in tufts from buried decaying wood, usually appearing after rain. It can be up to 17cm tall, with a conical cap and shaggy edge which often drips an inky liquid. The cap is fawn-grey, egg-shaped, and mostly smooth at first. Develops into a conical cap, 3–7cm in diameter, grooved and often split at the edges, eventually turning black. The gills/spores are white at first, then brown and then black as the gills ‘autodigest’ into a thick inky liquid which drips from the edges of the cap. The spores are of an elliptical shape and its spore print is black.

SHAGGY INKCAP - Coprinus comatus

Also known as 'lawyer's wig' or 'shaggy mane'.

It has a woolly, scaly surface over its bell-shape. It is very common and can be seen at the road side, in parklands and even popping up in lawns.  The shaggy inkcap displays a tall, narrow, cylindrical cap that is white and very 'shaggy' with 'scales' over its surface. The cap gradually opens out to a bell shape. The gills are very crowded; they are white at first, then turn pink and eventually black, dissolving from the margin of the cap until it is almost entirely gone. The shaggy inkcap has a tall, smooth, white stem with a moveable ring. [Wildlife Trusts].

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprinus_comatus

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/fungi/shaggy-inkcap

WOODLAND TRUST : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/fungi-and-lichens/common-inkcap/

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