Wild Foods Home Garden

How to Grow & Use Wild Plants, Trees, Shrubs & Mushrooms

A Practical Guide Using Organic Gardening Methods

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Shaggy Mane

(NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Shaggy Mane Mushrooms, but just finding them in the wild, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Shaggy Mane Mushroom page.)

Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus). Known also as the Shaggy Ink Cap and Lawyer's Wig. This is my personal favorite mushroom.

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Due to the fantastic flavor, and nice texture, I think these would be a big seller but for one problem: you have very little time to cook them after picking before they start to deliquesce. That is a term for turning to liquid. It is part of their reproductive strategy to liquefy to spread their spores (seeds). Pick, and take right to the stove. Only pick the young ones that are still egg shaped on the top. Once the top becomes bell shaped and the bottom edge of the bell is black, you are too late.

Because of the limited time between picking and using, this is a great mushroom to grow at home. Pick just before you are going to cook them.

Use them in soups, stir-fry's, baking – whatever. Stir fried with onions and garlic in grape seed oil served on dry rye bread toast is my personal favorite.


The Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus) on its own to the left is perfect for picking and cooking. Notice how the egg shaped cap has a “shaggy” look – it is not smooth. Now look at the tall group of three to the right with a couple more in behind. The tall one on the left is still good, but getting late, and the other two tall ones are too late – they have turned bell shaped, black on the bottom of the cap and pinkish in the center.

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Important Notes when Identifying
Some Cautions
Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching

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