Shaggy Mane Mushroom in a Forest Near You

A shaggy mane mushroom begins to drip spores in inky goo this week at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, CA.
A shaggy mane mushroom began to drip spores in inky goo this week at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, CA.

Finally, with the onset of rain, we have amazing mushrooms pushing up throughout the coast redwood forest. One of my favorites is the shaggy mane mushroom, Coprinus comatus. This is a gilled mushroom that emerges with a white scaly cap that begins to leak black goo as its spores mature. It literally liquefies itself to spread spores for reproduction!

You’ll recognize this mushroom by its inky goo, but before it begins to drip, a shaggy mane will reach a height of up to 6 inches with a cap up to 2 inches wide. It is common throughout North America and Europe in a variety of habitats. Apparently, shaggy manes are edible when they are young….but if you dilly dally then you might find yourself trying to enjoy an oozing mushroom mouthful.

What mushrooms are you finding in the woods right now? For another fun mushroom to find among the redwoods, see my past blog on coral fungi.








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About Emily Burns

Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has safeguarded special places, including the pictured Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.

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