AMERICANMUSHROOMS.COM SITE INDEX
aboutmushroom basicscoolest mushroomsedible mushrooms 1,046 mushroom photos!HOMElawn & garden mushroomsmushroom linksmedicinal mushrooms
morel mushroomsmushroom I.D.mushroom photographymushroom showmusicmushroom odorspsilocybin mushroomsschedulestoretiniest mushroomstoxic mushrooms



banner
 
Share

THE SHAGGY MANE MUSHROOM
Scientific name: Coprinus comatus


IMPORTANT NOTICE
The TEXT on this Webpage regarding
EDIBLE WILD MUSHROOMS
is as important to your SAFETY as the photographs!

IF IN DOUBT, THROW THE MUSHROOM OUT!

I assume responsibility for the accuracy of information provided at americanmushrooms.com regarding edible wild mushrooms. However, I cannot assume responsibility for the integrity of your use of the information I present here regarding edible wild mushrooms. It is up to you to exercise your own best judgement in the event that you choose to consume edible wild mushrooms. Specifically, it is encumbent upon you to read all the text presented here that relates to the particular edible wild mushroom species involved to ensure that you have effectively ruled out dangerous poisonous/toxic wild mushrooms. Hurriedly comparing wild mushroom specimens to photographs of known edible wild mushrooms in hopes of determining that they are indeed the edible species can readily be FATAL!
 
Keep in mind that some of these pages include photographs of poisonous mushrooms which resemble edible wild mushroom species; again, reading the accompanying text and applying that information is absolutely vital to your safety!

 
Note that even with some of the best, safest, most popular edible wild mushroom species, it is possible for an individual human being to have an allergic reaction to a particular species. This happens with the grocery-store button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), it happens with edible wild morel mushrooms, and it happens with strawberries.
 
It is also possible for illness to result from consuming mushrooms that are decaying, contaminated by pollution, or otherwise not in good condition. Before perusing the section of this Webpage that presents photographs of and text about edible wild mushrooms (and some of their toxic "look-alikes"!), you must read "The Mycophagist's Ten Commandments," which explains several hazards and provides advice on how to avoid those hazards.
 
Most importantly, be doubtful and be skeptical: Use the mushroom's description to seek evidence that the mushroom you've found is not the edible wild mushroom species whose photograph it resembles!
 
David Fischer, Author of Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America (1992, Univ. of Texas Press)
 


The best mushroom books are available in the AmericanMushrooms.com Bookstore

                                       


THE SHAGGY MANE MUSHROOM
Scientific name: Coprinus comatus
Image - Photo of the edible Shaggy Mane mushroom (Coprinus comatus)
This Shaggy Mane mushroom's cap has begun melting into black goo.
About one-half actual size.

The Shaggy Mane mushroom (Coprinus comatus; see photo, above) is a very common, visually distinctive mushroom with a really nice flavor. The Shaggy Mane mushroom is quite popular, and is among the four mushrooms author Clyde M. Christensen listed back in 1943 as "the fool-proof four." Personally, I don't consider any edible wild mushroom to be fool-proof—the fools Christensen had met apparently weren't of the same calibre as some of the ones I have met!
 
The Shaggy Mane mushroom's most salient hallmarks are the bulletlike shape of its cap, which is reliably covered with delicate white scales—one cannot handle the Shaggy Mane mushroom without getting bits of those white scales on his hands—and the fact that the mushroom's cap "melts" into an inky black goo, starting at the edge of the cap (see photo, below). Be sure that the Shaggy Mane mushroom is at least four inches or so in height with a weight of several ounces each; this will rule out much smaller, more delicate species, including some dangerous Lepiotas and several small "edibility uncertain" species of Coprinus. Though the Shaggy Mane mushroom is a gilled mushroom, its gills are very tightly packed; the beginner might not even immediately recognize them as gills. Nonetheless, it is important that the mushroom hunter checks to make sure that her specimens do have gills before cooking and eating them.
 
The Shaggy Mane mushroom fruits on the ground, primarily on lawns but even on bare ground—it has even been known to push up through gravelly, hard-packed soil or old pavement! Its season runs from spring through autumn (it's not unusual to find it on the same lawn in the spring and again that same fall). As with all wild foods, it is very important to avoid collecting specimens from contaminated habitats; I have seen a massive fruiting of the Shaggy Mane mushroom on a polluted industrial "brownfield."

Image - Photo of the edible Shaggy Mane mushroom (Coprinus comatus)

The entire genus Coprinus is noted for "melting" into black goo (which contains huge numbers of spores!), hence they are, as a group, commonly called "Inky Caps." If one notes the robust size and the distinctive scales of the Shaggy Mane mushroom, there's only one species (actually, it's probably a group of several different closely related species) with which it is likely to be confused by a reasonably careful person: The Scaly Inky Cap (C. variegatus = C. quadrifidus; see photo, below), which has whitish scales but lacks the Shaggy Mane mushroom's overall white color. Some people do eat C. variegatus, but I strongly advise against that, as it has been known to cause gastrointestinal symptoms for some folks and also seems to react very unpleasantly with alcohol in people who've consumed both within a period of a few days (for more information on this phenomenon, see COPRINE on the Poisonous American Mushrooms webpage).

Image - Photo of the poisonous Scaly Inky Cap mushroom (Coprinus variegatus)

One other mushroom in genus Coprinus, the so-called "Alcohol Inky" (Coprinus atramentarius, see photo below), is also noted for its toxicity when eaten in conjunction with alcoholic beverages. It is far less likely to be mistaken for the Shaggy Mane mushroom, but the wise mushroom hunter will nevertheless be aware of it so as to prevent the possibility of adverse reactions.

Image - Photo of the poisonous Scaly Inky Cap mushroom (Coprinus variegatus)

There's a lot more information about the Shaggy Mane mushroom and other choice edible wild mushroom species
in my best-selling book, Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America.


AMERICA'S BEST, SAFEST
EDIBLE WILD MUSHROOMS!

HEN OF THE WOODS (also known as MAITAKE or SHEEPSHEAD MUSHROOM)
Scientific name: Grifola frondosa

BEAR'S HEAD TOOTH MUSHROOM and equally delectable sibling species
Scientific name: Hericium americanum, H. coralloides, H. erinaceus, etc.

GEM-STUDDED, PEAR-SHAPED, and GIANT PUFFBALLS
Scientific names: Lycoperdon perlatum, L. pyriforme, Langermannia gigantea and others

THE SULPHUR SHELF or CHICKEN MUSHROOM
Scientific name: Laetiporus sulphureus

THE SHAGGY MANE MUSHROOM
Scientific name: Coprinus comatus

THE YELLOW and BLACK MORELS
Scientific names: Morchella esculenta and M. elata

THE BLACK TRUMPET and HORN OF PLENTY Mushrooms
Scientific names: Craterellus fallax and C. cornucopioides

THE SWEET TOOTH or HEDGEHOG Mushroom
Scientific names: Hydnum repandum and H. umbilicatum


Google
 
AmericanMushrooms.com Web

AMERICANMUSHROOMS.COM SITE INDEX
aboutmushroom basicscoolest mushroomsedible mushrooms 1,046 mushroom photos!HOMElawn & garden mushroomsmushroom linksmedicinal mushrooms
morel mushroomsmushroom I.D.mushroom photographymushroom showmusicmushroom odorspsilocybin mushroomsschedulestoretiniest mushroomstoxic mushrooms

To contact David Fischer, send an e-mail to…
to contact David Fischer, send an e-mail to 'mycology@aol.com'

All content at americanmushrooms.com is Copyright 2006, 2007 by David W. Fischer. All rights reserved.