Ascomycetes  |  Basidiomycetes  |  Classifications  |  Fruit Body Structure  |  Slime Molds





Members of this family are known to have black or brown spores. They are generally fragile.

Group: Coprinus (Ink Caps)

The most characteristic trait of this group is that the caps or gills melt away on maturity into a dark black liquid which carries the spores, hence the common name 'Ink Caps'


Coprinus Atramentarius

Found on June, 2000. Growing from the ground.

Cap: Delicate light tan in colour. The surface is covered in small white fluffy fibrils that are easily removed by touch. Striate, (has lines or margins running from the center to the edge).


Stem: Whitish in colour and relatively hairy at the base near ground level.

Spore Print: Black. Notice the spore deposit under the cap in the lower picture.

Edibility: Edible but does react with alcohol. Don't eat this mushroom and drink alcohol within at least 4 days in between. 






Coprinus Comatus (Shaggy Maine or Lawyer's wig)

Found in the picnic area at Tangoia Falls on December 15, 2000.

The cap does not open flat like most other mushrooms with gills but remains cylindrical, and is covered with scales or scale like peelings giving it it's shaggy appearance.

The stem extends right up to the tip of the fruit body. Enclosed in between the cap and the stem are the white gills.

This specimen was almost 20cm high and about 5cm in diameter.

Edibility: Very edible & popular.


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Coprinus Disseminatus (Fairies's Bonnets)

Found at Tangoia Falls on December 15, 2000, growing in a large group on a dead log.

Cap: Deeply grooved, pale when young turning gray with age.

Gills: Do not melt, pale when young turning black with age.

Spore print: Brown.

Stem: 1.5-4cm tall, white, smooth and fragile. Ring and volva absent.

Edibility: A common mushroom, supposed to be edible but too small to be of value, however, if it grows in such numbers, It may be worth the shot


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Coprinus Sp., 


Found on July, 2000, growing from the ground on the road side in Havelock North, but widespread after heavy rain.

This mushroom looks like C. Atramentarius when young. 

The cap however doe not self dissolve at maturity, but the gills disintegrate gradually leaving a clear cap
which rolls upwards.

Spore print: Black

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Group: Panaeolus

Caps of mushrooms in this group are usually somewhat bell shaped. Spore print is normally black, (but there are exceptions). They grow from dung or lawns. The size is usually small but sometimes medium sized.


Panaeolus Rickenii

Found in July, 2000. Growing as a single mushroom amongst the grass. Also found in groups as in the lower picture.

Cap: Beige to light brown with radial lines extending from the margin to about half way to the center. Slight 'Umbo' at the apex. Bell shaped. About 1cm in diameter.

Gills: Brown in colour, attached to the stalk and running down it slightly. Quite closely packed and deep into the cap.

Spore Print: Black (See below).

Stem: Smooth. 2-3mm thick and about 6cm high. Has no veil or volva.

Edibility: Not edible

This mushroom to has a very elegant glitter when viewed in
sunny conditions.




Different people react differently to different mushrooms.

NEVER eat a wild mushroom without being 100% sure it is safe to do so.



 Best Gourmet Mushrooms in New Zealand
















Best Gourmet Mushrooms in New Zealand






















Best Gourmet Mushrooms in New Zealand


























Best Gourmet Mushrooms in New Zealand






















Best Gourmet Mushrooms in New Zealand












Last Update

 6 Feb 2007


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