Welcome to Mushroom Monday for April 30, 2018
With the recent appearance of a few species of ink cap mushrooms, we can expect to see them through the summer and fall. The big majority of ink cap mushrooms (called the coprinoid fungi) share the unusual feature of having gills that digest themselves at maturity producing a liquid mass of black spores. Some of the liquid drips to the ground and infiltrates the soil and some dries on the mushroom cap and is wind dispersed. If insects land on the liquid mass, they can serve as dispersal agents. The enzymatic dissolution of tissues is called deliquescence. It begins at the cap margin and progresses toward the stem.