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The Inc cap (Coprinus comatus), also called asparagus mushroom, porcelain tintling, or ink mushroom, is a species of mushroom in the mushroom family. It is native to Europe, common and an excellent edible mushroom when young, although not very durable, as old specimens melt into an inky liquid. The species is cultivable; commercially, for example, it is offered in grain brood, which is interspersed with the mushroom tissue.

A widespread, very tasty mushroom with exceptional properties. Although easily and profitably cultivable and of excellent and mild taste, the Schopftintling is not a mushroom whose cultivation appears commercially worthwhile. The storage period of best young fruiting bodies is max. 3 days with good cooling. In addition, the precise harvesting time is also important. If you cut too late, you may harvest only specimens that are already beginning to dissolve into black ink from the edges. Such mushrooms must no longer be consumed.

The Inc cap mushroom is found along roadsides and in meadows. In the urban habitat it is one of the most characteristic mushrooms, often growing in large groups on fertilized lawns in the middle of housing estates. The species lives saprotrophically and nematophagously, i.e. it can prey on and digest small nematodes. To do this, the crested tintling forms trapping organs on its soil-dwelling mycelium, small spherical structures with thorny outgrowths, which it uses to secrete a toxin that immobilizes nematodes. The nematodes are eventually colonized by hyphae of the crested tintling and digested within a few days.

A new antibiotic was isolated from Coprinus comatus and is currently being characterized by US researchers. Ying (1987, p. 313) reports that “inhibition rates against sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich carcinoma are 100% and 90%, respectively”.

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Coprinus comatus is considered a good edible mushroom when young – as long as the cap is not yet spread and the lamellae are still white or pink. It has a tender consistency and a mild aroma. The mushroom must be utilized very quickly, as even young specimens soon turn inky after harvesting and are then no longer edible. The crested tintling does contain coprin, which is toxic in combination with alcohol, but at 26 mg per kg fresh weight, the amount is only one-fifth of that in the wrinkled tintling; such a small amount that coprinus syndrome does not usually occur, even if alcohol is consumed along with the crested tintling meal. This intoxication, however, is more likely to be triggered by wrinkled and mica tintlings, which have a considerably higher coprin content.

© SuperMarioMushroomQuest

1. Growing

Growing Procedure

Coprinus comatus can be cultivated on a hot rot fermented straw/manure substrate as for mushrooms. Experimentally on pasteurized or fermented straw.

Establishment of outdoor beds in spring and summer.

Cultivation on logs is not possible as for all soil-dwelling litter decomposers. Good success is also achieved in indoor cultivation on a well enriched sterile straw/hemp/beech-based substrate, such as my herbaceous mushroom substrate. Other substrates based on used horse stable bedding also work.

When it comes to choosing the mandatory cover crop, many growers despair. Not every material is suitable. Pasteurized sifted dark garden soil or pure peat mixtures promise the highest chances of success. The most important trick, the secret ingredient to this covering soil, I tell them when buying the culture.


Agar Culture Media: PDA, PDYA, MEA, MPYA, DFA, or OMYA.
Cropping: Two to three flushes, 4-10 days apart
Containers for fruiting: Trays and bags. This mushroom is not inclined to grow from anything but horizontal surfaces.
Biological efficience: 80%
Substrates: Grains (rye, wheat and sorghum), Straw/manure compost formulations described by Stamets and Chilton (1983) favor significant fruiting of this fungus. Another excellent medium can be made from horse stable sawdust enriched with manure and urea. Paper and pulp waste has also been shown to promote fruiting. Like most coprophylls, this fungus benefits greatly from the attachment of a peat-based liner.

Growing Characteristics

Coprinus comatus grows single or in clusters




Temp °C
21-27 16-21 18-24
Relative Humidity %
95-100 95-100 80-90
Duration d
12-14 12-15 5-7
CO2 ppm
5000-20000 500-1000 500-1000
FAE per h
0-1 4-8 4-8
Light lux
500-1000 (8h) 500-1000(8h)

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Natural Habitat

Coprinus comatus grows often in unexpected places, such as city green spaces. It is widespread in grasslands and meadows in Europe and North America, from June to November in the UK. It appears to have been introduced to Australia, New Zealand and Iceland. In Australia the species is common enough to appear on a postage stamp issued by Australia Post in 1981 on lawns, meadows, around yards, on wood chips, along paths and in enriched soil.

The fruiting bodies appear from April until deep into November, in Central Europe fructification reaches its peak in September.

The Ink cap is widespread throughout the northern hemisphere.

2. Identification


-cylindrical cap, which initially covers most of its stem
-mostly white with hairy scales that are lighter brown on top
-4-10 (15) cm high and 3-4 (5) cm across
-vertically elongated
-first dark brown, then white and decorated with ascending scales


-free gills quickly change from white to pink to black
-white to pale, long, broad and slightly attached to the stem or detached
-as the mushrooms mature, the gills turn black or “liquefy,” turning into a spore-loaden black liquid that drips from the rim of the rapidly receding cap


-adorned with a movable membrane ring in the form of a necklace
-separates from the rim of the cap as mushrooms grow


-6-12 (15) cm long
-1⁄2 to 1 inch (1 to 2.5 cm) diameter
-bulbous at the base


-usually white
-often develops “tufts” (clusters of hyphae) as it matures
-most stems form mats of mycelium asymmetrically along the outer edge


-microscopically, pleurocystidia are absent
-spore print is dark brown
-10–13 x 6.5–8 µm
-cellular subhymenium

Danger of confusion

Coprinopsis alopecia, Coprinus sterquilinus, Coprinopsis atramentaria, Coprinopsis strossmayeri, Coprinopsis acuminata, Coprinopsis picacea, Coprinellus flocculosus

© Robert Benson (RobertBenson)

3. Consuming


It cannot be ruled out that if you consume very large quantities of Coprinus comatus and drink a corresponding amount of alcohol, you will get a poisoning. Therefore, it is better to refrain from alcoholic beverages for a few days if you want to consume the mushroom.


-white, then reddish
-old black liquid


mushroom, mild, sweet


tasty, mushroomy to neutral, mealy and slightly sweet

Nutritional content of 100g

protein (N × 4.38) 25-29%
fat 3%
carbohydrates 59%
fiber 3-7%
ash 1.18%

4. Data med, edible

other names

Chinesisch (traditionell) 毛頭鬼傘
Chinesisch (vereinfacht) 毛头鬼伞
Chinesisch (vereinfacht) 鸡腿菇
Deutsch Schopftintling
Dänisch Stor parykhat
Englisch Lawyer’s-wig
Shaggy Ink Cap
Englisch Shaggy Inkcap
Englisch Shaggy Mane
Español (Chile) Barbuda
Estnisch soomustindik
Französisch Coprin chevelu
Hebräisch דיואית מצויצת
Fungo dell’inchiostro
Katalanisch Pixacà barbut
Koreanisch 먹물버섯
Velika gnojištarka
Čupava gnojištarka
Gauruotasis mėšlagrybis
Geschubde inktzwam
Norwegisch matblekksopp
Czernidłak kołpakowaty
Portugiesisch Gota-de-tinta
Burete cu perucă
Навозник белый
fjällig bläcksvamp
Велика гнојиштарка
Slovene velika tintnica
hnojník obyčajný
Hongo de Tinta
Spanisch Matacandil
hnojník obecný
Pösteki mantarı
Гнойовик чубатий
Gyapjas tintagomba
Wissenschaftl. Name
Coprinus comatus
Wissenschaftl. Name
Coprinus ovatus
Gyapjas tintagomba

other names

Coprinus porcellanus, Coprinus ovatus, Coprinus comatus var. caprimammillatus, Coprinus comatus var. ovatus, Agaricus porcellanus, Agaricus cylindricus, Agaricus comatus, Vaillantii, The Shaggy Mane, Lawyer’S Wig, Maotou-Guisan, Schopftintling, Spargelpilz, Schopfpilz, Tintenpilz, Porzellantintling, Eiertintling

Kingdom Fungi

Division Basidiomycota
Class Agaricomycetes
Order Agaricales
Family Agaricaceae
Genus Coprinus
Species C. comatus
Ecology Saprotrophic

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