Scientific name: Coprinus comatus
Size: Grows to 30cm tall, and around 5cm in diameter
Distribution: Found throughout the U.K.
Months seen: May to November
Habitat: Meadows, woodland edges and road verges
Special features: The long scaly cap of the shaggy ink cap is sometimes called the 'lawyer's wig' or 'shaggy mane' for obvious reasons. The white gills inside turn black with age. The whole cap then starts to break down to the inky black liquid which gives the fungi its name.
The Shaggy Ink Caps are edible (cooked) when young, but care needs to be taken not to confuse them with similar species such as the Common Ink Cap (Coprinopsis atramentaria), which has a smooth cap and is poisonous when consumed with alcohol, and Magpie Ink Cap (Coprinus picaceus which is also believed to be poisonous.