Parasola plicatilis

(Also knows as Coprinus plicatilis)

Japanese Parasol or Pleated Inky Cap

Order Agaricales, family Psathyrellaceae 

CAP THIN, TINY, PLEATED

Cap:  1-3 cm wide; conical when young, becoming flat; grooved like a paper parasol; gray with brown disc at center; flesh thin, sometimes transparent

GILLS NARROW AND WIDE-SPACED

Gills:  free; narrow, distant from one another; gray then black

STALK FRAGILE, HOLLOW WITH NO RING

Stalk:  4-7 cm long, 1-3 mm thick; brittle; hollow

SINGLE TO NUMEROUS ON LAWNS, PARKS

TOO FLIMSY TO EAT

SPORE PRINT BLACK

Lookalikes:

Fairy bonnet (C. disseminatus) -- smaller and more numerous

White dunce cap (Conocybe lactea) -- cinnamon gills, whitish cap

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO KNOW....

On a summer morning, look down into the grass somewhere in the neighborhood. Thick well-watered grass is best. If you see little green people, you're probably too hot and need to sit down. If you see little parasols that look like mini-imports from Japan, don't worry. You're not hallucinating. You're actually seeing one of the city's most delicate and appealing shrooms.

Like a see-through umbrella, the pleated inky cap is so unusual you will want to take it home and show it to all your friends. Unfortunately, however, it will most likely disintegrate before you get back to the barn. So you'll have to appreciate it right there. Look it over thoroughly. Hold it up to the sun. Notice its ridges and wide gills.  And, if you're feeling stupid, hold it over your head like an umbrella!


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