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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

02 July, 2012

Common Inkcap (Coprinopsis atramentaria)

The Common Inkcap is, as the name might suggest, very common but becuase they 'liquidise' very readily they are often hard to identify and, in any event, are only around for a couple of days! They are also inclined to be quite variable in appearance.

This is very much a species of woodland and, in particular, stumps, twigs and general debris that have a soil covering but you can also find them on grassland where there is buried timber below the surface. Generally solitary or in small groups they are visible from spring right through to the autumn.

They are considered edible but I think you would have to find them pretty fresh and cook them quickly to get them at their best. You should also avoid having a glass of wine with them as they can have nasty effects when eaten with alcohol! Indeed, it has apparently been used as a drug to help cure alcoholism. The black liquid has also been used as a drawing ink.

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Find out more about the Common Inkcap in Dorset here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species_panel/Common%20Inkcap?vd...