Coprinus plicatilis (Coprinus plicatilis (Curtis) Br., 1838) is a mushroom belonging to the Coprinaceae family.
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Fungi, Phylum Basidiomycota, Class Basidiomycetes, Order Agaricales, Family Coprinaceae and then to the genus Coprinus and to the species C. plicatilis.
The terms are synonyms: Agaricus plicatilis Curtis, Fl. Londin .: 57 (1787) and Parasola plicatilis.
The term Coprinus comes from the Greek κόπρινος kóprinos (from κόπρος cópros dung): pertaining to the dung, which grows on dung. The specific epithet plicatilis is due to the pleats of the hat.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Coprinus plicatilis is a fungus that grows in the period between spring and autumn, in meadows and other grassy areas and more rarely in the shade. It is found solitary in small groups and rarely in a few. It is quite common and widespread throughout Europe and probably on other continents.
It is recognized for having a cylindrical-ovoidal hat of 2-4 cm of diameter, campanulate, then convex, flattened and compressed in the center; with ocher-yellow color the central part, gray, powdery, plicate-striated the peripheral part. The lamellae are thin, tender, pink in color, and then turn gray and finally black, not deliquescent; inserted on a disk, from the top of the stem. The stem is pale-white, silky-shiny, thin and with a bulbous base. The meat is of insignificant consistency, with almost no odor and taste. Under the microscope there are spores of 11-12 x 8-9 μm, elliptic, or almond, black in mass. Basidia are 20-42 x 9-12 μm, tetrasporic. The pleurocystids are 60-100 x 22-35 μm, utriform or sub-cylindrical and the cheilocystides of 40-90 x 16-28 μm, utriform or sublageniform with a neck 6-15 μm long, sometimes ellipsoid. Buckle joints: present.
Coprinus plicatilis, both for its consistency and for its organoleptic qualities, is not a fungus of any interest to cultivation.
Uses and Traditions –
The coprinus plicatilis is closely related to C. leocephalus but differs in the larger and elongated spores, with basidi a little ‘smaller and more gray, the less crowded lamellae; moreover it prefers a habitat exclusively in more open and grassy places.
From the hat of the Coprinus plicatilis, as well as of the Coprinus comatus, in the past it was obtained a liquid, which was used to prepare a kind of ink much more resistant than that of china. For this reason these mushrooms, in the Anglo-Saxon countries, are called “Ink Cap”, ie ink hat. There are more than 100 ink mushrooms and they are found on rich, non-fertilized soils, on meadows, fields, gardens and are very common in our latitudes.
From the point of view of edibility it is of little value, even if it can be consumed but it is not recommended.
Preparation Mode –
Coprinus plicatilis does not have any gastronomic value even if occasionally it has been consumed.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.