I recently saw a fine crop of Shaggy Ink Cap mushrooms, growing underneath a street tree in Mapperley…..
The Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus) is a very common mushroom, found growing in a variety of habitats – often forcing their way through pavements, as here. Its shaggy young fruitbodies soon dissolve into a black, inky substance, which contains spores (and can be used to make ink).
When young it makes excellent eating. I picked the young caps and briefly fried them whole in olive oil and garlic. Delicious! They are easy to identify and thus a favourite foraging mushroom. However, don’t confuse them with the related Common Ink Cap (Coprinopsis atramentaria), which gives unpleasant effects if consumed with alcohol; it has a smooth cap with a different shape when young, so is easy to tell from the shaggy species.