Parasola Plicatilis: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Parasola Plicatilis Mushroom
Parasola Plicatilis is a small saprotrophic mushroom with a plicate cap (diameter up to 35 mm). It is a widely distributed species in Europe and North America.
This ink cap species is a decomposer that can be found in grassy areas, alone, scattered, or in small groups. The fruiting bodies grow at night after rain and will self decompose after spore dispersion is achieved.
Otherwise, they are quickly dried up in morning sunlight, or will eventually collapse beneath the weight of their caps.
Other names: Pleated Inkcap, Japanese Umbrella Toadstool.
Parasola Plicatilis Identification
Saprobic; growing alone or scattered in grassy areas, usually in direct sunlight; summer and fall (and overwinter in warmer climates); widely distributed in North America.
10-35 mm across at maturity; ovoid at first, becoming convex or bell-shaped, then flat; bald; deeply grooved from the margin nearly to the center; yellowish to orangish brown when young, becoming gray in the grooves and finally overall; without veil remnants.
Free from the stem; close or nearly distant; whitish at first, becoming dark gray and eventually black.
35-100 mm long; up to 2 mm thick; equal above a slightly swollen base; fragile; hollow; bald or very finely silky; white; without a ring.
Flesh: Insubstantial; whitish.
Spore Print: Black.
Parasola Plicatilis Taxonomy & Etymology
This Inkcap was first described scientifically in 1777 by British mycologist William Curtis (1746 - 1799), who named it Agaricus plicatilis. (At that time most gilled fungi were initially placed in the genus Agaricus, which has since been largely redistributed across many newer genera.)
In 1838 the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries transferred this species to the genus Coprinus where, as Coprinus plicatilis, it resided undisturbed for the best part of two centuries. In 2001, based on DNA sequencing, Redhead, Vilgalys & Hopple redistributed most of the species formerly collected in the Coprinus genus. The Pleated Parasol was moved to the genus Parasola along with a great many superficially similar little mushrooms, and so its scientific name became Parasola plicatilis. (A microscope is essential to separate the various Parasola species with certainty; even then it is no task for a beginner.)
Synonyms of Parasola plicatilis include Agaricus plicatilis Curtis, and Coprinus plicatilis (Curtis) Fr.
The specific epithet plicatilis means pleated - a reference to the grooved upper surface of the cap.
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