Saturday, November 7, 2009
Edible Mushroom:SHAGGY MANE (Coprinus comatus)
SHAGGY MANE (Coprinus comatus)
Description: The shaggy mane or lawyer's wig is so large and distinctive that with a little practice you can identify it from a moving car.
The cap of a fresh specimen is a long, white cylinder with shaggy, upturned, brownish scales. The gills are whitish, and the entire edible mushroom is fragile and crumbles easily. Most important, as the shaggy mane matures, the cap and gills gradually dissolve into a black, inky fluid, leaving only the standing stalk. Size 4" to 6" tall, sometimes larger.
When and Where: Spring, summer and fall, growing in grass, soil or wood chips. Often seen scattered in lawns and pastures.
Cautions: Shaggy manes are best when picked before the caps begin to turn black. However, until you become familiar with these edible mushrooms, check for the developing ink to be sure of your identification. (note: The shaggy mane is the largest of a group of edible mushrooms called inky caps. The field guides listed at the end of this article can help you identify other members of this group.)
Cooking Hints: Saute butter and season with nutmeg or garlic. Good in scrambled eggs or chicken dishes. Shaggy manes edible mushroom are delicate and should be picked young and eaten the same day.