This edible but rather bitter tasting (meaning inedible to me) Wood Blewit look-a-like can usually be differentiated by having some of the cortina or ‘web’ still covering the gills or an orange/brown band on the stem caused by the spores sticking to the base of what’s left of the cortina.
|Common Names||Bruising Webcap (EN), Cap Gweog Cleisiol (CY), Zasłonak Purpurowiejący (PL), Bíborlila Pókhálósgomba (HU)|
|Scientific Name||Cortinarius / Thaxterogaster purpurascens|
|Average Mushroom height (CM)||10|
|Average Cap width (CM)||12|
Has a lilac/purple fibrillose cap that turns brown with age although the cap can appear brown when young.
When young the gills are covered by a spider web like structure called a cortina which soon breaks up and can be completely absent on older mushrooms, under the cortina the gills are fairly thick and not very crowded and start lilac/purple turning to orange/brown when covered in spores.
Cortina / Veil
The cortina starts almost white to lilac but becomes orange/brown when covered in spores.
The stem has a swollen base and is lilac to purple. When older the stem usually has an orange band around it caused by the spores sticking to what is left of the cortina where it was joined to the stem.
Has a thick bulbous base when very young, as shown, but the base does not increase much in size as the rest of the mushrooms grows from it but older mushrooms usually still have a swollen base.
The flesh starts white to lilac but can bruise to darker or brown when the flesh is exposed for a short time.
Can look very like the tasty Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda), pictured, but usually has some of the cortina left hanging from the edge of the cap or an orange/brown band around the stem.
Also looks like other purple Cortinarius mushrooms and when older with a brown cap could be mistaken for some of the poisonous species.
Rusty orange/brown. Ellipsoid to almond shaped.
Taste / Smell
The cortina translates as curtain and is referring to the partial veil covering the gills of the young mushrooms.
As they don’t taste good and could be mistaken for other species of Cortinarius, some of which are deadly poisonous, we don’t recommend any of the Webcaps for consumption.