Coprinellus micaceus

Coprinellus micaceus
Image Courtesy of Peter Katsaros
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Group of Fungi: Agarics

Family: Psathyrellaceae

Latin Name: Coprinellus micaceus (Bull.) Vilgalys, Hopple & Jacq. Johnson

Synonym(s): Coprinus micaceus (Bull.) Fr.

Common Name: Mica Cap Mushroom

Description: Total height 1 5/8–3 in (4–7.5 cm), occurring in dense clusters; cap 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) wide, reddish brown, oval to bell-shaped age, surface covered with glistening white particles that disappear in age, margin striate; gills closely spaced, white at first but becoming black and then inky; stalk 1–2 1/4 in (2.5–5 cm) long, 1/8–1/4 in (0.3–0.5 cm) in diameter, hollow, fragile, white; spores blackish brown in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.

Habitat: On various types of wood debris but most commonly found or around decaying stumps or at the base of still standing trunks of dead or dying trees in broadleaf forests.

Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout North America.

Comments: The fruiting bodies of Coprinellus micaceus typically occur in dense clusters that are relatively conspicuous when they are associated with a decaying stump. When they are young and thus while their gills are still white, the fruiting bodies of this fungus are considered edible.

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