Coprinellus micaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Vilgalys, Hopple & Jacq. Johnson, 2001
Common names: Mica cap, Shiny cap, Glistening Inkcap [En], Coprin micacé [Fr], Gewone glimmerinktzwam [Nl], Glimmertintling [De]
Halle, BRABANT ● Belgium
Taxonomy: Formerly known as Coprinus micaceus, the species was transferred to Coprinellus in 2001 as phylogenetic analyses provided the impetus for a reorganization of the many species formerly grouped together in the genus Coprinus.
Description: The cap is initially 1–2.5 cm (0.4–1.0 in) in diameter, oval to cylindrical, but expands to become campanulate (bell-shaped), sometimes with an umbo (a central nipple-like protrusion); finally it flattens somewhat, becoming convex. When expanded, the cap diameter reaches 0.8–3.0 cm (0.3–1.2 in) with the margin torn into rays and turned upwards slightly. The color is yellow-brown or tan often with a darker center, then pale yellow or buff from the margin inwards. The cap margin is prominently grooved almost all the way to the center; the grooves mark the positions of the longer gills on the underside of the cap. When young, the cap surface is covered with white or whitish shiny particles, remnants of the universal veil that covers immature specimens. The particles are loosely attached and easily washed away, so that older specimens are often smooth. Coprinellus micaceus is hygrophanous, meaning it assumes different colors depending on its state of hydration.
The gills are crowded together closely, and have an adnexed (narrow) attachment to the stem. Initially white, they change color to dark brown then eventually black as the spores mature. Expansion of the cap causes the gills to split open down their median planes, tearing the cap margin into rays. The brittle stem is hollow, and measures 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long by 0.2–0.5 cm (0.1–0.2 in) thick and is roughly the same diameter throughout the length of the stem. It is generally white, but may discolor to pale dirty cream from the base up. The stem surface is at first velvety with a very fine whitish powder, but this eventually wears off, leaving it more or less smooth. Stems may have a rudimentary ring at the base, another universal veil remnant. The spore print is dark brown or black. The flesh is thin, fragile, white in the stem, and brownish in the cap. Its odor and taste are not distinctive.
Biology: Fruit bodies are commonly found growing in dense clusters, but can also be found growing singly or in small clumps, especially in forested areas. In Europe, it fruits from May to December. Although it can grow at any time of the year, it is more prevalent during the spring and fall, coinciding with the higher humidity resulting from spring and autumn rains.
Habitat: Coprinellus micaceus is a saprobic species, deriving nutrients from dead and decomposing organic matter, and grows in and around stumps or logs of broad-leaved trees or attached to buried wood. The fruit bodies typically grow in clusters on or near rotting hardwood tree stumps or underground tree roots. It prefers feeding on bark, particularly the secondary phloem, rather than the wood. In the scheme of the succession of fungal species involved in the decomposition of wood, C. micaceus is a late stage colonizer, and prefers to feed on wood that has already decomposed sufficiently to have reached "a friable softened consistency". The fungus is also associated with disturbed or developed ground, such as the sides of roads and paths, gardens, building sites and the edges of parking lots; it has also been noted for growing indoors on rotting wood in humid environments.
Distribution: Cosmopolitan species.
Caution: Coprinellus micaceus is an edible species, and cooking inactivates the enzymes that cause autodigestion or deliquescence—a process that can begin as soon as one hour after collection.
Wikipedia, Coprinellus micaceus