The Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus) is an edible mushroom the positive effects of which were not known to people before the 20th century. Its fructification time is normally May – November, and it grows in lawns, gardens, parks, on fields, mostly in places affected by human activities. The mushroom is edible as such but only young and still tightly closed fruit-bodies are digestible. They cannot be stored because of an autolytic process which transforms them to a black watery mass eventually. Scientists in the former East Germany were the first to come up with a concept of cultivation decades ago but the planting of this mushroom has spread even in China recently. The Shaggy Ink Cap has a wide natural distribution in Europe and North America; it seems to have been introduced even to Australia and New Zealand. The history of practical uses of this mushroom is quite short and it is one of the few beneficial mushrooms with no history of application in the Eastern medicine. It was not until the 20th century that some initial knowledge on the benefits of the Shaggy Ink Cap was gathered.
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