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ink cap gills

Ink Caps Fried in Butter

Friday, 5th October 2001, West Yorkshire

ink capyoung ink capA SOLITARY Ink Cap fungus stands on the lawn of a house at the end of the road. This common fungus, also known as Lawyer's Wig, Coprinus comatus, is edible, at least it is when still white, before the gills start turning to black 'ink'.

As a hard up student in London, I once picked some while on a weekend walk in the Chilterns and, back at the college hostel, fried them in butter for tea.


hawkweed,  Hieracium acuminatumOn the other side of the garden wall, growing at the edge of the pavement with the Knotgrass and Pineapple Weed, an 18 inch (45 cm) tall hawkweed still has a solitary flower, a flower which resembles a flattened, rather undernourished, Dandelion. It has barrel-shaped flowerbuds and stems that are unribbed and have a hint of whitish down on them.

Hawkweeds are notoriously difficult to identify and, after looking in three books, the nearest that I can find is Hieracium acuminatum, which is illustrated by Ian Garrard in The Wild Flowers of the British Isles and described by David Streeter as being found;
. . . in the English lowlands, where it is one of the commonest hawkweeds, it grows on roadsides, railway banks, walls and in rough grassland
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Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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