Stocking Webcap Cortinarius torvus

Scientific Name: Cortinarius torvus (Cortinariaceae). 'Cortinarius' means 'curtain', a reference to the veil over the gills in young specimens. 'Torvus' means 'fierce' or 'grim'.

English Name: Stocking Webcap (Webcap family).

French Name: Cortinaire farouche (='grim curtain'); Cortinaire à pied courbe (='curve footed curtain'); Cortinaire à chaussette (='socked curtain').

5 Key Characters:
  • has an off-white 'stocking' sheath up the stem.
  • stem fibrous with lower half swollen, 4  - 9 cm high.
  • cap streaky pinkish brown, 4 - 10 cm across.
  • gills are violet, aging to red brown.
  • strong unpleasant smell, like camphor.

Lookalikes: Variable Webcap C. anomalus, which doesn't have a stocking. Purple Stocking Webcap C. mucifluoides, which has a purple stocking rather than whitish, and is very slimy.

Habitat: Broadleaf or mixed woodland, especially near Beech Fagus sylvaticus, Hazel Corylus avellana, Oaks Quercus spp, Lindens Tilia spp.

Fruiting Period: August-September-October-November.

Status: Fairly common and widespread.

Edible or Toxic? Assumed to be toxic (other webcaps are).

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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