Bruising Webcap Cortinarius purpurascens

Scientific Name: Cortinarius purpurascens (Cortinariaceae). 'Cortinarius' means 'curtain', a reference to the veil that covers the gills when the mushroom is young. 'Purpurascens' means 'turning purple', which the mushroom does if damaged.

English Name: Bruising Webcap (Webcap family).

French Name: Cortinaire purpurescent (='purpling curtain').

5 Key Characters:
  • turns purple if damaged.
  • cap brownish streaked with purple, going browner with age.
  • cap convex, flattening out with age.
  • gills brownish violet, going darker reddish brown with age.
  • stem violet and swollen at the base.

Lookalikes: Other purple Cortinarius spp, especially C. violaceus, which is deep purple. Wood Blewit Lepista nuda, which has a cap edge that rolls under and is common.

Habitat: Broadleaf and mixed forests, especially under Oaks Quercus spp and Beech Fagus sylvaticus.

Fruiting Period: August-September-October-November.

Status: Uncommon.

Edible or Toxic? Possibly toxic (other similar species contain a toxin which will destroy your liver or kidneys if you eat them).

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Wood Blewit on the left, Bruising Webcap on the right.

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