PileUs. At first oval and hard; margin then separating from the stem; then equally cylindrical, margin turning black; finally expanded, and decaying by dissolution into inky fluid. Color of pileus variable from brown to pure white, always woolly, shaggy, the cuticle coming off in layers like the scales of a fish.
Gills. At first white, crowded; possibly pink, then dark purple, or black, and moist.
Stem. Thick at base, equal above ground, hollow, appearing like macaroni cooked.
Volva. None, but ring present, and movable in the full-grown specimen.
Spores. Black. Smell strong, especially at centre of pileus.
Taste. Pleasant raw, but should not be eaten after it is moist and black.
Grows in rich lawns, roadsides, or newly filled city grounds, in groups or solitary.
For about twenty mushrooms, put into a saucepan one gill of milk or cream, add salt and pepper to the taste, with a piece of butter the size of the larger specimens above; when it boils, put in the stems and small hard mushrooms; after ten minutes' boiling add the larger specimens; keep the dish covered and boiling for ten minutes longer, then pour the stew over dry toast, and serve.
Chop the mushrooms fine, let them simmer ten minutes in one half gill of water, with butter, salt and pepper as for oyster sauce; thicken with flour or ground rice; pour over the meat and cover quickly.
N. B. But very little fluid is needed in cooking this mushroom, as it yields a rich juice of its own. It should always be cleaned before cooking, by scraping it smooth and until it is perfectly white.