genus of black-spotted agarics in which the cap breaks down at maturity into an inky fluid; sometimes placed in its own family Coprinaceae
These mushrooms are popularly referred to as the inky caps because their gills dissolve into a black inky fluid at maturity. Found on wood, dung, humus, and soil. Some species are edible.
The genus Coprinus is a small genus of mushrooms consisting of Coprinus comatus (the shaggy mane) and several of its close relatives. Until 2001, Coprinus was a large genus consisting of all agaric species in which the lamellae autodigested to release their spores. (The black ink-like liquid this would create gave these species their common name "inky cap".)