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Coprinopsis variegata   (Scaly Ink Cap)
North America, Europe
Cap 4-6 cm diameter, stem 8-15 cm tall * 0.8-1.2 cm thick

Coprinopsis variegata, also known as Scaly Ink Cap, is a medium-sized agaric with a bell-shaped to flattened cap up to 7.5 cm in diameter, with felt-like, patchy scales. The gills, initially white, turn black in maturity and eventually dissolve into a black "ink". The mushroom grows in clusters or groups on leaf litter or rotted hardwood, although the wood may be buried, giving the appearance of growing in the soil.

Cap thin, grey to greyish-brown, initially oval-shaped then bell-shaped, and then flattened with the margin turned upward. When young, the surface of the cap is covered with a woolly whitish or yellowish veil that breaks up into short-lived flakes or scales. Gills broad, thin, crowded closely together and free from attachment to the stem. They are initially white but turn to dark purplish-brown as the spores mature. Spores dark purplish-brown. Stem thick, hollow, and whitish. It is roughly the same width throughout the length of the stem and may have a wispy, cotton-like ring present near the base.

Coprinopsis variegata on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.

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