Coprinus comatus, the shaggy ink cap, lawyer's wig, or shaggy mane, is a common fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. The young fruiting bodies first appear as white cylinders emerging from the ground, then the bell-shaped caps open out. The caps are white, and covered with scales - this is the origin of the common names of the fungus. The gills beneath the cap are white, then pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores (hence the “ink cap” name). Its specific name derives from coma, or “hair”, hence comatus, “haired” or “shaggy”.
When young it is an excellent edible mushroom provided that it is eaten soon after being collected (it keeps very badly because of the autodigestion of its gills and cap). The species is cultivated in China as food.
Coprinus comatus is the type species for the genus Coprinus. This genus was formerly considered to be a large one with well over 100 species. However, molecular analysis of DNA sequences showed that the former species belonged in 2 families, the Agaricaceae and the Psathyrellaceae. Coprinus comatus is the best known of the true Coprinus. Adding to its unusual features, a recent study has found the shaggy ink cap kills nematode species Panagrellus redivivus and Meloidogyne arenaria. See also nematophagous fungus.
The shaggy ink cap is easily recognizable from its cap which initially covers almost the whole of its stem. Entirely white to begin with, the cap becomes shaggy as separating scales develop. The gills change rapidly from white to pink, then to black. It is deliquescent. Microscopically it lacks pleurocystidia.
WIPO ASSIGNS PATENT TO PALMED TEVA FOR "NOVEL COPRINUS COMATUS AND TREMELLA MESENTERICA MUSHROOM STRAINS, PRODUCTS AND EXTRACTS THEREOF AND COMPOSITIONS COMPRISING THEM" (ISRAELI INVENTOR)
Sep 16, 2010; GENEVA, Sept. 22 -- Publication No. WO/2010/103519 was published on Sept. 16. Title of the invention: "NOVEL COPRINUS COMATUS AND...
Isolation and Characterization of Heavy-Metal-Mobilizing Bacteria from Contaminated Soils and Their Potential in Promoting Pb, Cu, and CD Accumulation by Coprinus Comatus
Jan 01, 2012; Introduction Heavy metal pollution in soils is becoming one of the most severe environmental hazards, leading to economic losses...