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OK, Mary's link in the thread about growing mushrooms got me searching, and I found a place that sells "seeds" :D for growing Shaggy Manes.

Interesting part to me is that I am almost completely certain that they already grow "volunteer" in my lawn (norCal, in the central valley).

A few questions, if I may:

1. May I have some good pics of them to compare?

2. Are there poisonous lookalikes? If so, pics of those, as well, please.

The ones that grow in my lawn start out as the whitish "capsules", I guess you'd call them (foreground), and mature into cone-hat shaped mushrooms (background) which rot into a jet black goo.

shaggy_mane_kit.jpg

I understand that they are very good. (Can someone give me a flavor rating on Luigi's famous 1-10 scale? 1=swamp water, 10=porcini).

They are done for this year ,I think; they fruited in early December here (norCal).

Over to you :)

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Luigi, I moved your post as it is not a mushroom hunting subject but rather cultivation. I like shaggy manes ok but they are very delicate and don't keep so you have to use them immediately or you will have nothing but black ink. I'd give them about a 5-6 but find them more trouble than they are worth frankly since you have to drop everything and cook them the same day you find them.

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Guest Vlad

Luigi,

Yup those are the Shaggy Manes. Nothing that looks like them that I am aware of. In my opinion they are as good as King Bolete. You need to pick them when they are like in the foreground before the gills turn black, and cook them within 15 minutes. I put some aside for about 2 hours and it was too late to cook them. This one that I prefer to parboil as soon as I pick them then cook them up in the next couple of days. That way the disintegration is stopped.

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Coprinopsis atramentaria looks similar to a novice, but to a trained eye is quite different looking.

inky caps

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Luigi, I moved your post as it is not a mushroom hunting subject but rather cultivation. I like shaggy manes ok but they are very delicate and don't keep so you have to use them immediately or you will have nothing but black ink. I'd give them about a 5-6 but find them more trouble than they are worth frankly since you have to drop everything and cook them the same day you find them.

Thanks for moving the thread, Mary. :blush:

Thanks for the feedback. :)

Wouldn't be a big deal, as they pretty reliably grow in my lawn ;)

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No, Luigi, what you have in the photo appear to be Coprinus comatus (shaggy manes). Inky caps are not choice and cause problems when consumed with alcohol.

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No, Luigi, what you have in the photo appear to be Coprinus comatus (shaggy manes). Inky caps are not choice and cause problems when consumed with alcohol.

Thanks Mary. At a 5-6, I'll just avoid them. ;)

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Luigi, You have to remember Mary likes blue mushrooms. Just kidding. Ha! Ha! Shaggy's are one of my favorites. The first batch I get , I clean good, saute all the water out of them and saute again in butter. Next batch gets deep fried. My score for them is a NINE.

Deep Fried

Sauted in butter

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Luigi shaggy mane can be awesome. In my opinion they are the best mushroom for cream of mushroom soup - I have yet to find anything better. Fried up I have had some excellent batches and some ok batches and I blame the ok batches on my cooking skills not the mushrooms. Each September I make a point of driving around backroads looking at lawns in search of these tasty treats. So far no homeowner has said no when I ask if I can pick those nasty mushrooms on his lawn. Dont pass them up if you have them they are good.

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I also think that Shaggy Manes make excellent soup. They have a lot of flavor. Make certain to use only ones that are not yet turning to the gray/black color. Also, you might want to watch how much alcohol you drink along with a Shaggy Mane meal. There are some reports that sensitivity can be caused by combination with a lot of alcohol. Be aware of Coprinus altramentarius, C. quadrifidus, and C. picaceus. Young buttons are shaped/colored like Shaggy Manes, so care must be taken to avoid picking any of these along with a basket full of Shaggy Manes... although I have never seen any of these growing within a patch of Shaggies. Once you get to know them, Shaggy Manes are not that difficult to recognize and distinguish form these other inkies.

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Guest Vlad

Another Inky that is reported to be delicious is the Mica Cap aka Coprinus micaceus. It is one of the favorite of Bill Russell, this one

http://www.brmushrooms.com/

I asked him how he manages to get it home from the woods and cook it before it turns black. He answered that you do not bring it home. You bring the skillet and propane stove to the Mica Cap. I actually tried that once but could not find any Mica Caps :angry:

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Ok, so I will clear this up a little bit so you don't just think I'm a mushroom snob who only eats porcini and morels! lol I like shaggy manes, it's just for me a matter of the hassles of having to drop everything and cook them right away and that is usually not a good option for me when and where I find these. My biggest shaggy mane score was years ago while in New Zealand. I was staying at a 5 star lodge out in the countryside (right about where the epicenter of the Christchurch earthquake was (Darfield). Anyway, I arrived at the lodge late, after dark, so wasn't able to see the lawn as I was driving in down the long driveway to the lodge from the front gate. The next morning, a fishing guide came to pick me up and take me on a trip down the Rakaia River in his jet boat. As we were driving out the front driveway to the gate, I noticed there were literally thousands of shaggy manes all over the beautiful grass lawn heading back down the drive to the main road. I said, we will stop and pick some of those on our way back from the river. Well, when we returned from the river, the grounds keeper was out on his mower cutting the lawn and all the shaggy manes along with it. I yelled, "stop the truck" and jumped out and started grabbing mushrooms like a freak. I explained to the guide and he did the same. Then the gardener guy came over and stopped his mower and yelled what are you doing? He said, "those are just toadstools, what are you doing?" I told him they were good to eat and we wanted to save some before he cut them down to the ground. He looked at me like I'd just walked off a spaceship from Mars and rolled his eyes and shrugged and went right back to mowing down the beautiful mushrooms! We didn't have a bag so we used the guides fishing net which was a big boat net. We filled the net with mushrooms and I took them inside to the lodge chef who also looked at me like I was crazy. I then had to go online and show them info about the shaggy manes and that they were edible and good food, so then they believed me and he cooked some as I told him, for appetizers before dinner. After that, he would go out and pick them when they would fruit, long after I left. He made mushroom stock with them. Pure black mushroom stock but again with good flavor.

I like shaggy manes but I don't like the time line that is dictated to having to rush home and cook them, that is why I gave them a less than stellar number on the scale.

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Holy carp! They look awesome.

I wish I could get a couple of side by side pics of the good and bad ones....

Luigi, Here's my best attempt to show the two.

post-59-0-26796600-1294407868_thumb.jpg Coprinus atramentarius ( alcohol inky )

post-59-0-38302500-1294407943_thumb.jpg Coprinus comatus ( Shaggy mane )

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Again nice pics Jack... but careful... I got a patch of shaggy mane growing side by side with atramentarius... Shaggy mane are one of my favorite mushrooms... always plentyfull... a great mushrooms to pick with Kids... I prefer them really really young... most of the time I check for small bump near mature one... so delicious when they are not out of the soil yet... and you can keep them up to a day in refrigerator... those really young one can even be dry in a dryer... (really thin slice... and not to much at the same time...) or lightly sauté them in butter and freeze them... just use it frozen( don't defrost them before...)but get use to the shagy mane and the look alike before to pick the small button... they are more difficult to distinguish in that stage...

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Mary is right when she says that you pretty much need to cook shaggy mane right away. Dont even think about trying to keep them for breakfast the next day and if you pick them in the morning you want to be thinking lunch not supper and that does make them a bit of a pain. Shaggies arent the sort of mushrooms you want to gather on the morning of an all day foray.

They do have some properties though that make it possible to enjoy these tasty treats. First of all they will fruit in the same place year after year. Second when they do fruit they tend to not be shy about it and you can very often find plenty for a meal without having to move 10 yards.As Mary said you can sometimes find a whole lawn full of them. Third, while they will grow in the woods they seem happiest on someone's lawn in plain sight. These factors mean that you dont have to make shaggy mane an incidental pick, you can become a shaggy hunter very successfully. Where I live they fruit in september 2 days after a decent rain. The trick is to find some local lawns where they grow and remember where they live. When the time is right it is entirely possible to decide you want some for supper, jump in the car, race to one of your favorite lawns, pick a basket full and be back home in 20 minutes. OK that can be a problem if you live deep in a city but if you stay alert you will still find some spots. I live in countryside and when September comes I make a point of getting off the highway a couple of miles from home and driving the last couple of miles down back roads. I can stop and grab some on the way home or plan to get some the next day if I see they are starting to fruit. In a good year they will fruit over a 2 week period and in a bad year it might be all over in 4-5 days. A lawn might fruit for 3 days then stop but there is almost certainly another lawn up the road that is just starting. This past year we had 6 meals with shaggies which is pretty good for a mushroom that doesnt lend itself to preserving. Five of the six meals happened when I intentionally took a short drive to harvest some from spots where I was pretty sure they would be fruiting and the sixth came from a spot I saw driving home from a lobster mushroom run.

I have tried to figure out why some lawns fruit lots of shaggies while adjacent lawns will produce zero. After talking with the lawn owners of a few good spots I discovered that there is usually some sort of buried organic matter. Maybe the lawn is where an old compost pile used to be or maybe one or more old stumps were buried before the lawn was planted. You cant really use that information to help predict which lawns might produce because you can't tell what is buried, but it can help you find general areas that might produce. Find one of those places where some woods were developed into housing on half acre or bigger lots in the past 10 years. There is a good chance that when the bulldozers carved out the lots they buried all sorts of trees and stumps and that is the sort of environment the shaggies like.

You can dry shaggy mane sort of. The dehydrators that work with low heat and convection currents won't stop the enzymes fast enough and you will get a black mess for your efforts. You need a dehydrator that generates decent heat (to stop the enzymes) with a fan and you need to start with very fresh young mushrooms. The problem with dried shaggy mane is that they dont rehydrate into anything that you can fry but the finished dried shaggy is useful if you powder it and use it as a flavoring and we have done that a couple of times with success.

For years I have been tossing stem butts and caps that start to discolor before we can get them cooked all over my lawn in the hope of establishing a colony (much to my wife's horror) but I have had zero success with this simplistic lazy approach. I have learned that with saprobes you can get a mycellium run in cardboard (I did it with blewits last fall) and I plan to try this next year with shaggies. I have no clue if it will work but it is one of those experiments that is free so I plan to give it a try.

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Generally, C. comatus is much taller than the other two. Mica

caps and alcohol inkies seem to grow in much larger clumps also,

and tend to be found more under trees. Shaggy manes more commonly

found in the grass. I don't think you'll have much trouble telling

them apart.

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this topic has sure gotten a lot of feedback! I just wanted to add that I have kept shaggies for up to 24 hours before inkyness has set in. I picked the youngest ones I could find and put them in the fridge within 15 minutes. also I left a few at the same stage of life in the ground and to my surprise my harvested ones lasted a few hours longer than the ones I left.

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I haven't tried this but I've heard you can submerge them in water, in the fridge, for a couple of days. But in my case, they're never around long enough ! :barbeque:

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I have heard (and just verified with my friend google) that you can keep them from turning black by immersing them immediately in cold water. I don't have any experience doing this, I've just eaten them right away.

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I have heard (and just verified with my friend google) that you can keep them from turning black by immersing them immediately in cold water. I don't have any experience doing this, I've just eaten them right away.

Has anyone tried lemon juice? Italians keep artichokes from turning black that way.

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Has anyone tried lemon juice? Italians keep artichokes from turning black that way.

It's most likely a catalyst that is involved in the reaction. Those are generally

inhibited by low temperatures, and inactivated by high temperatures. So chilling

or blanching slows or stops it.

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It's hard to mistake shaggies from other Coprinus sp. due to their marked size and shaggy appearance. I could see where someone could mistake them when they are over-mature and turning black, but you wouldn't want to eat them at that stage anyway. As far as Mica caps, I find massive fruitings of them every Spring during morel hunts at the base of primo looking dead elms. I'm always disappointed when I find them, because I've never seen morels fruit off an elm that has the Mica fungus. I've heard they are watery and pretty tasteless anyway, has anyone here eaten them?

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