Tom Volk covered shaggy manes as his Fungus of the Month for May 2004, so I'm going to refer you to his site to read about some of the science behind this fungus, one of the previous “Foolproof Four”. I do have to share one term with you regarding the genus Coprinus: autodeliquescence (doesn't that roll off the tongue?), or self-digestion. These fungi break down their own tissue as a way to aid release of spores – Dr. Volk goes into more detail on the phenomenon.
On a different tack, I'd like to thank Beverley for volunteering to add zone information in comments where applicable. Gardeners, please remember that zones are simply guides and may not accurately reflect your situation.
If you haven't read the comments from yesterday's entry, I'd encourage you to do so. Peter Wharton shared his recollections about the expedition where he collected the seed for the Gleditsia, adding a personal touch.
Also, Victoria Weber posed some interesting questions about plant taxonomy, which I had to think about how best to address. I've come to the conclusion that since I can't think of a site that answers her questions compactly, I'll answer them over time within BPotD entries. I can then collate the writings and publish it somehow as a separate article on the garden's web site or journal. Does this approach work for you, Victoria? I know it's not an immediate answer.
I've also been contemplating Tim Bray's essay on Memory, particularly the concluding bit about the ephemeral nature of the electronic and his suggestion to commit pixels to paper. If I were to self-publish a BPotD book using one of the online high-quality photographic book services available (which I'll likely do for myself in any case), would you be interested?
Photography resource link: Mark Hobson's article on Book Publishing (via Nature Photographers Online) seems an appropriate accompaniment to the above.