Coprinopsis atramentaria

| |
Coprinopsis atramentaria

2 November 2007 Essex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Synonyms

Coprinus atramentarius

Common Name

Common Ink Cap, Tippler's Bane

Cap

Egg shaped, expanding with age, radially grooved, grey, often with a brown centre, to about 7 cm across

Gills

White at first, then black and deliquescing

Stem

Tapered upwards, smooth, white

Flesh

Brittle, white

Smell

Indistinct

Taste

Indistinct

Season

Spring to autumn

Distribution

Frequent

Habitat

On dead wood (often buried) from deciduous trees, often in clumps

Spore Print

Date brown

Microscopic Features

Spores ellipsoidal to almond shaped, smooth (8-11) x (5-6) µm2

Edibility

Although edible, the fungus should not be consumed with alcohol as the two in combination cause distressing symptoms including anxiety, hot flushes and nausea. The effect is long lasting and alcohol should be avoided for up to 3 days after ingestion of the fungus.

Notes

The fungus contains coprine, which causes a form of poisoning known as the Antabuse syndrome, after the Antabuse medication given to alcoholics to dissuade them from consuming alcohol. The active ingredient in Antabuse is disulfiram, not coprine.