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Glistening Coprinus

Glistening Corprinus, Vancouver Island, BC
Glistening Coprinus, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The Glistening Coprinus is another common species of mushrooms that can be easily identified. It commonly grows in large groups and clusters on hardwood stumps, roots, and other organic material. It fruits on Vancouver Island in the fall. It is smaller than the Common Inkcap and is brighter colored, with ochraceous to yellow-brown caps that usually are adorned with small glistening particles that after a heavy rain, can wash off. The Glistening Coprinus is a good edible species. Its former name was Coprinus micaceus.

Coprinoid mushrooms are easy to recognize. Many coprinoid mushrooms have gills that liquefy into an inky mess at maturity, this makes them different from most other mushrooms, so they often end up looking like an inky mess. As a result, coprinoid mushrooms are often referred to as Inky Caps. This mushroom can be found throughout most of North America. It is widespread throughout the United States and can be found in the spring right through to the fall.

It is an edible mushroom if eaten when young before the gills turn inky. There are some compounds that have been extracted from this mushroom that is thought to have antimicrobial properties. Ongoing studies are being done to determine if a medicine can be made from them.

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