Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus comatus)
This instantly recognisable mushroom is to be found in meadows as well as in woods and verges. It is quite common in the autumn but constantly wet conditions in summer will entice it out.
When newly emerged it is egg-shaped and long and totally white apart from a small brown patch right at the top. At this stage it is edible but should be consumed without any form of alcohol, in fact no alcohol should have been drunk in the preceding days, as it then develops a toxicity which can be poisonous.
After reaching a height of between 5 to 15 cm, the lower edges of the Shaggy Inkcap begin to blacken and rot. This process gradually creeps up the whole of the mushroom leaving it to dissolve into a black inky fluid.