National Geographic : 1920 May
COMMON MUSHROOMS OF THE UNITED STATES 405 Photograph by Roland McKee TIE INKY COPRINUS (Coprinuts atraimntariusVARIETY). EDIBLE This variety lacks the fine scales on the top of the cap, which are prominent in the typical form. The very delicate silvery gray luster of the cap vanishes with the slightest touch. The "ink" from this mushroom makes a forgery-proof writing fluid (see page 439). Natural size. residents there return from collecting trips with their automobiles laden with them. In preparing it, either for immediate use or for pickling or canning, the layer of tubes and the tough portion of the stems should be re moved. When used fresh, the cooking should be rapid over a brisk fire. Frying or broiling with butter or olive oil, with the usual spices added, seems best adapted for this fungus. When pickled, add cloves, bay leaves, and other spices. Except for the stem, which is at times much shorter, and club- or pestle-shaped, the illus tration shows a fully matured plant. When young, the tubes are pale, creamy white, but as the plant develops they become greenish, and when touched or bruised change to a greenish-ocher color, not to blue. The species is extremely variable, both as to shape and color, some specimens showing a brownish-lilac color on both cap and stem. The constant features, however, are the colors and color changes of the tube layer, and the fine mesh of white lines on the stem, usually but not always confined to the upper part. The edible Orange-cap Boletus (Boletus versipellis) is much coarser and larger than the cope and not so desirable. Still, in the ab sence of something better, it is eaten by those who must have their mushrooms (see page 406). It is quite common and easily recognized by the numerous rough, blackish points on the" stem and by the overlapping margin of the red dish- or orange-colored cap. Its flesh changes color to a neutral, reddish gray.