An ink cap

After last Saturday’s mushroom foray, I had been wondering whether or not I would see any fungi in the back garden this autumn. Possibly there has been plenty, but with the garden still so green and lush it is hard to be sure.

As if by magic, today I noticed a mushroom I can now name: The Ink Cap. From the top, the two specimens looked quite unprepossessing; heading towards the end of their lifespan, they were shaggy, to say the least.

Then I felt the underbelly of the mushroom. Having learned that touching them (and then even eating food afterwards without hand washing first) isn’t dangerous, whether or not they are poisonous, I had no qualms about this job, although it did turn out to be quite messy.

My fingers came away covered in black slime. So, I felt certain I could already put a name to the fungus and after a look on my favourite foraging website it was confirmed as the Ink Cap.

Incidentally, this mushroom has been classified as poisonous by Wild Food UK. It may be edible in some circumstances but they feel it is not one they want to encourage.

However, it is an intriguing variety and I am glad that I can now name another visitor to the garden. Indeed, fungus is especially welcome, as it can help bring nutrients into the soil.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in foraging, Gardening, soil management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to An ink cap

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    We see a lot of Inkcaps around here but I’ve never been tempted to touch them! They do look slimy!

  2. Lavinia Ross says:

    A beautiful ink cap, Helen.

    It has been a banner mushroom year here in western Oregon.

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