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The shape of the cap and the closeness of the gills prevents this mushroom from depositing its spore like most gilled mushrooms. It uses a process called autolysis or autodigestion. Beginning at the tips, the cap slowly turns into a black inky goo (hence their common name inky caps) which open the gills wide enough for the spores to fall out. That ink was once used for writing ink.
Lat: 38.84, Long: -106.13
Spotted on Sep 5, 2009 Submitted on Sep 15, 2011