Coprinopsis atramentaria

Scientific name:  Coprinopsis atramentaria (Bull.:Fr.) Redhead,
Vigalys & Montcalvo.
Derivation of nameAtrament- means "ink" in reference to
the deliquescing gills. 
SynonymsCoprinus atramentarius (Bulliard:Fries)
Common name(s):  Alcohol inky
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Agaricales
Family:   Psathyrellaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; clustered in grass,
on decaying wood or on the ground from buried wood; May
through September.   
Dimensions: Caps are 5-7.5 cm wide; stipes are 4-15 cm
long and 1-2 cm thick.   
Cap: Dry, gray to gray-brown; with shallow grooves on the
margin (radially lined or striate). Small scales may form near
the center.        
Gills:  Free; white when young, becoming black and inky at
Spore print: Black.
Stipe: White, hollow, with a white annular zone near the base.
Veil: Evanescent, leaving a fibrous ring.
Edibility: Edible with caution.
Comments: Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed up
to 48 hours before or after eating this mushroom. The "alcohol"
inky causes coprine poisoning which produces symptoms of
nausea, vomiting, flushing, rapid breathing, and severe headache
DNA studies (see Redhead, S. A., et al.
) radically revised the taxonomy of Coprinus. The
genus Coprinus was divided into several new genera
and the family Coprinaceae no longer exists.

More information at
More information at  

Figure 1. A clump of Coprinopsis atramentaria. Grooves
or striations occur near the cap margin. Photo © Steve

Figure 2. Note the location of the inferior ring.
Photo © William Roody.

Figure 3. The gills of the most mature specimens are
starting to turn into a black inky fluid. Photo © Pam

Figure 4. Note the hollow stipe in the longitudinally
sectioned specimen at the bottom. Photo © Steve

Figure 5. Closer view of the sectioned specimen in Figure
4. The white gills are turning dark as the spores mature.
Photo © Steve Nelsen.


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