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Inky Caps in the back yard

The other days several clumps of mushrooms appeared on one section of the lawn in the back yard.


These turned out to be some species of the group of mushrooms we call inky caps – genus Coprinus.

IMG_4394Coprinus means “living on dung” but there was no dung in the back yard. There is organic matter though – apples from the old apple tree fallen on the ground, rotting and fermenting. These are called inky caps because they spread their spores through deliquescence. As quickly as they appear, these mushrooms transform into an inky gooey mess.

Unfortunately, these are not the variety of inky caps I want growing in my yard. I would much prefer them to be the tasty ones we call Shaggy Manes. When you find shaggies, it’s a race to the pan. Leave them too long and you have a pile of inky mushrooms in the kitchen.

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