What You Should Know
Coprinellus disseminatus is a little coprinoid species whose gills do not turn to black ink; it's even possible to obtain a spore print, rather than a gooey black mass of wet paper. This mushroom typically fruits in clusters near the bases of stumps, sometimes in astounding numbers. Edible, but insignificant.
Often forming large troops on woody debris, this diminutive Coprinellus is characterized by a broadly parabolic to convex, pale grayish-brown, striate cap with a yellowish-brown disc. Since the gills of this species do not deliquesce, thus some authors have placed it in the genus Pseudocoprinus. Recent molecular studies suggest however that it properly belongs in Coprinellus.
Other names: Non-Inky Coprinus, Fairy Bonnet, Little Helmets, Crumble Cap, Trooping Inkcaps.
Coprinellus disseminatus Mushroom Identification
Saprobic, growing in clusters, often by the hundreds; on decaying wood, especially near the bases of stumps; spring, summer, and fall; widely distributed in North America.
Minute to 2 cm; oval when young, expanding to broadly convex or bell-shaped; when young almost white, with a brownish center - or grayish - darkening to grayish or grayish-brown with a brownish center, paler towards the margin; smooth, or very finely granular/hairy when young; lined or grooved from the margin nearly to the center.
Attached to the stem or free from it; white at first, but soon gray, then blackish; not deliquescing (turning to black "ink"); close or almost distant.
1.5-4 cm long; 1-2 mm thick; equal; smooth; often curved; white; hollow.
Flesh: Very thin; fragile.
Spore Print: Black or blackish brown.
Coprinellus disseminatus Taxonomy and Etymology
Originally described by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, the Fairy Inkcap was given its present scientific name in 1939 by the Danish mycologist Jakob Emanuel Lange (1864–1941). In many field guides this species is still recorded as Coprinus disseminatus, under which name it was commonly - Classified until 2001.
Synonyms of Coprinellus disseminatus include Agaricus minutulus Schaeff., Agaricus disseminatus Pers., Coprinus disseminatus (Pers.) Gray, Coprinarius disseminatus (Pers.) P. Kumm., and Pseudocoprinus disseminatus (Pers.) Kuhner.
Because it does not autodigest (deliquesce), some authors have placed this species in the genus Pseudocoprinellus rather than in Coprinellus. Hence PseudoCoprinellus disseminatus (Pers.) Kuhner is a synonym.
The generic name Coprinellus indicates that this mushrooms genus is (or was thought to be) closely related to or at least similar to fungi in the genus Coprinus, which means 'living on dung' - that's true of quite a few of the inkcaps but not particularly apt for this and several other Coprinellus species that feed on rotting timber.
Coprinellus disseminatus is a vegetarian that does not like 'second hand' food that has already passed through the gut of an animal. The suffix -ellus indicates fungi that produce rather smaller fruitbodies than those of Coprinus species. The specific epithet disseminatus is the past participle of the Latin verb disseminare, formed from the prefix dis-, meaning 'in all directions' (as in display, disintegrate, etc) and seminars, meaning 'to plant' or' to propagate'.
Coprinellus disseminatus Video
Photo 1 - Author: Strobilomyces (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Norman Salazar Arguedas (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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