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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley

Shaggy Inkcap

Not short of great names, this fungus is also known as Lawyer’s Wig, and is quite common in Otley’s meadows, woods and verges (and ironically more common than Common Inkcap). The pale, flaking scales that give rise to the shaggy name are flattened by rain, and the cap starts as a cylinder or egg shape, before becoming bell-like. This later deliquesces (liquifies) from the lower edge, the resulting dark, spore-laden liquid gives the fungus the second part of its name. This process can be quite startling: if you left one on a table overnight you would come down in the morning to just a black inky stain. Astonishingly, one of these delicate mushrooms was once reported as lifting a 75x60cm paving slab 4cm in 48 hours!

By Neil Griffin Photo by Joyce & Mike Clerk


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