Shaggy Mane Mushroom, Lawyer’s Wig, Shaggy Inkcap, or Maned Agaric (Coprinus comatus)
Range: Grasslands and meadows across North America and Europe.
Harvest Season: June through November, depending on temperature.
Identifying Characteristics: This species is only edible when immature – before the gills turn black. It’s got a shaggy cap that droops over much of the stem when young and is covered in loose scales. The gills rapidly turn from white to pink to black. This species must be harvested before the gills turn black.
Dangerous Lookalikes: The maned agaric can be confused with the common ink cap, which can induce vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms if eaten within a few hours of consuming alcohol. The symptoms can be frightening but will subside without further consumption of alcohol. The severity of these symptoms is generally proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed.
Preparation: This mushroom carries lots of water, making it a good addition to soups and stocks, including risotto.