Alcohol Inky Cap
(Coprinus atramentarius)
Alcohol Inky, sculpture

Immature Alcohol Inky Cap

Sculpture, acrylic paint by "Wildman"

This inky cap has a gray-brown, egg-shaped cap 2-3 inches wide, becoming convex, with a pleated margin.
Alcohol Inky Cap

Mature Alcohol Inky Cap

Note the inky, black gills, and the cap's pleated margin.

The free (from the stem) gills are crowded together. They begin light gray, then blacken as they turn into ink and disintegrate.
Alcohol Inkies from Below2

Alcohol Ink Caps Disintegrating

The spores are black

The white, hollow stalk is 3-6 inches long, 3/8-3/4 inches thick.

Alcohol Inky Cap, split

Alcohol Inky Cap Split Lengthwise

Note the gills blackening from the bottom up, and the hollow stalk.

A faint ring near the stalk's base soon disappears.

Alcohol inky caps grow clustered, in wood chips and grass, throughout North America (and much of the temperate world), from spring to fall in the east, late fall to early spring in California.

Alcohol Inky Caps Emerging.

Alcohol Ink Caps Emerging

Note how tightly these mushrooms are clustered.

It's a good edible in soups, stews, and sauces. Use it the day you collect it, while it's still fresh and the gills are still white, before it begins to turn into ink.
Cluster of Alcohol Inkies

Alcohol Ink Cap Cluster

Young, emerging alcohol inkies with white gills like these are the ones to eat.

Caution: Do not consume alcohol for a day or 2 after eating this mushroom. It sometimes contains a substance that prevents your body from detoxifying alcohol.
Drinking alcohol after eating this mushroom may lead to alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include tingling sensations, flushing, and rapid heart beat.
You may also experience the belief that you've eaten a deadly mushroom, accompanied by the mortal fear that your hours on Earth are numbered!
Grim Reaper
However, all symptoms disappear after a few hours, and recovery is complete.