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Inky Cap Mushroom (Coprinopsis atramentaria)

Inky Cap Mushrooms look really gross, but in fact, they are actually edible. This strange-looking mushroom also has some more fascinating facts about it. So let's check it out!

Physical description and Behavior

These mushrooms are well known for their dark purple color, which makes it look like they are dripping with ink. In fact, it is possible to use this "ink" in order to write on paper. They can grow up to 3 inches in diameter; they start off as a whitish cream color before turning darker over time.

One of the most fascinating things about this mushroom is the fact that in order to reproduce, it digests itself. Most mushrooms release spores into the air, but the Inky Cap digests itself, turning into the black goo you see in the image. This goo is then washed away in the rains, where it grows into new mushrooms.

Another interesting fact is that these mushrooms are indeed edible. However, you have to be careful, as it becomes toxic once combined with alcohol. So no mushrooms and wine for dinner.

Habitat and Location

They are mainly found in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Europe, Asia, and North America. However, it has also been discovered in a few areas down south as well, such as South Africa, as well as Australia.

They are more likely to be found in more urban areas that are highly populated. They grow in groups after a rainfall, probably due to the spores being washed into a small puddle. It is also found in grassland, meadows, and even on hard surfaces, such as asphalt.

Here is a fascinating time-lapse video showing the mushroom go from normal-looking to inky.

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