Garden Fungi – Coprinus sp.


Coprinus sp.Coprinus sp.

Grows in DUNG and MULCH.

Fruit-body: Grey/black striate caps, with edges that over a few hours roll upwards to form a rim and whitish gills, visible through the cap, that rapidly become slimy and black with age.

Stem: Grey/white and slender.

Spore print: Black.

Smell: None.

Habit: In soil, litter, grass or mulch. Masses appear after rain, decompose by midday.

Notes: There are two different Coprinus sp. shown in the first photo. Both species photographed were small and ephemeral. Cap diameter 10-30 mm. They made a real forest of Coprinus sp. along a raised garden bed in a new housing estate at Moggill.

These fungi are known as “ink caps”, because the gills dissolve into a black, watery slime which was used as ink in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This is a saprotrophic fungus. This is why some species of Coprinus are common on compost heaps.