A lovely gourmet mushroom that can be found from November to February when there is not that many other mushrooms about.
|Common Names||Wood Blewit (EN), Pied Bleu (FR), Coes Las y Coed (CY), Gąsówka Fioletowawa (PL), Lila Pereszke (HU)|
|Scientific Name||Lepista nuda|
|Average Mushroom height (CM)||10|
|Average Cap width (CM)||12|
Convex becoming flattened with a wide umbo, the edges often turning up when very mature. Starting lilac/blue becoming more brown then fading. Younger mushrooms have an inturned edge.
Bluey-purple and a bit fibrous, more often than not thick and stout although can be fairly thin, and can be slightly bulbous towards the base.
Some of the Cortinarius species, especially the Bruising Webcap (Thaxterogaster purpurascens), pictured, as they can have similar lilac blue colouring but generally have an unpleasant smell and the spore print is rusty brown. The stem will usually have band of orange/brown due to the spores sticking to the residue of the cortina or there will be some of the cortina left hanging from the edge of the cap looking a little like cobweb.
Sordid Blewit (Lepista sordida) looks almost identical to a Wood Blewit but is smaller and generally thinner fleshed. This is not a problem as both mushrooms taste the same and both are edible.
Off-white to pale pink. Ellipsoid. The spores should be scrapped into a small pile to get an accurate spore colour.
Taste / Smell
Mushroomy and strong, slightly perfumey with a solid, meaty texture when fairly dry but they can hold a lot of water. Can be used for most dishes and drys very well. Must be cooked before consumption.
Must be cooked before consumption.
The Blewits like the cold and only start to appear when the temperature is constantly below 17 degrees and quite easily survive a frost.
The wood blewits made a sudden appearance in our garden after a small fir tree had burn’t down
near an Oak tree. Others I have found have also been near oak. Our garden harvest has never reappeared in over 17 years .
I found one of these lovelies yesterday for the first time here in Tasmania, where we have had a very wet autumn so far, growing in the leaf litter beneath my hawthorn tree.
It is an introduced species in Australia, so a mystery to me how it could have spontaneously appeared with me never having seen it before in my 25 years here, nor indeed have I seen it anywhere else, except perhaps on River Cottage mushroom foraging expeditions!
Probably my favourite mushroom to eat. Easily recognizable, common, pretty, firm flesh with a strong and distinct taste. It keeps its size and doesn’t turn all mushy when cooked and its lovely scent when picked up translates perfectly into a lovely taste for your palate to enjoy.
I’m one of those unfortunate people who’re allergic to these mushrooms.
The worst of it is, I lived in a house that had a copse adjacent to it that was littered with Blewits in the season.
First time I discovered them they were picked and on the plate in less than half an hour – and about an hour later I developed painful stomach cramps followed by profuse sweating/shivering…and then a lengthy session of chucking up (pausing only to check and re-check all my fungi books and a retained Blewit in case I’d got it wrong).
You’d think that would have put me off for life – but oh no, I did the same thing the following year on the basis that I may not have cooked them properly the first time around.
Nope. Cramps, sweats, chucking up.
Met up with Antonio Carluccio at a local fête the following year and mentioned my sorry experience – and it was he who told me that some folks just can’t eat them (shortly before asking me where I’d found them…).
I got caught by them one last time.
Ordered a wild mushroom starter in a pub and got taken ill later that evening. As no-one else in our group took ill it seemed likely that the mushrooms were to blame – so we rang the pub up the next day to ask what mushrooms had been used. Sure enough, there were Blewits in the mix.
The good news is that if you find you’re similarly allergic, you won’t die…but you’ll have a very disagreeable couple of hours. The bad news is that you’d probably be wise to avoid wild mushroom dishes when eating out…unless you can be positively assured no Blewits have been used.
I found a cluster of them in our pile of leaves from this fall.
I found one yesterday in the remains of the compost heap. I had pulled it before realising what it was. I’ve put it back so that it can decompose there.
I found these a couple of week ago here in Georgia (Borjomi). I did not care much for the taste to be honest.
I think I have found a wood blewit, pale violet cap gills and stem does not seem to have a ring or veil but I only picked an older one growing under an oak tree in leaf litter but have not got spores from it yet, I could only see about 5 or 6 close by and couldn’t see a ring of them
Found a couple of clusters of these today: November 27th: my birthday as it happens. It s a great mushroom for late in the season, and seems to like leaf litter.
Hey all Good people everywhere,🙋 Hope you are Well?. So now just this year Finding thru out our farm, in Hazlehurst Georgia. I’ve never seen before . I had to do much research as people need to take more pictures of all stages of the growh. As it was difficult for myself to be sure what I had here? Iam the guinea pig, No one else cares 4 mushrooms, Shame. But more for me. They just started appearing around Aug- Sept thus far of 2022. Pretty looking mushroom.They start lilac ~lavender , however they turn out to a pinkish color as they mature I’ve noticed. Good Mushroom hunting Y’all. Don’t forget love another 🫂😘
Thanks for the love but never eat mushrooms without IDing them first, there are deadly poisonous mushrooms out there.
Seem to have found a lot in NE england this week that are barely purple at all or completely without purple colouring – but all the other hallmarks, especially the orange-juicey smell. Is there any way I’ve found something else? Or perhaps is this a slightly anaemix variant? Cap looks right , feels just right… smell delicious…
There are a few pale Lepistas that grow in the UK with no purple colouring. Lepista irina or Lepista panaeolus are two possible suspects. A lot of mushrooms can have white variants so they may be Blewits.
Hi – I have found some Wood Blewitts over the last few weeks growing in leaf litter. They fit all the identification pointers. There were some very new ones which removed the possibility of them being webcaps. The smell was mushroomy although I couldn’t pick up on a perfumed smell.
My question is this – do they sometimes taste a little earthy? Not in an unpleasant way, just that I get an earthy taste along with the mushroomy flavour. I’ve eaten a fair few over the last few weeks with no adverse reaction – always well cooked.
Thanks for the excellent website – I also have your foraging guide and would love to do a course at some point.
I know what you mean by earthy, it’s nothing to worry about.
I just found (on a very wet 26 November 2022 in Devon, England) a bunch of beautiful blewits, from above shiny, purple, bulbous and rather like kidneys or some other animal organ. The gills underneath are a delicate finely structured violet. Of the family I am the only member who is going to eat them. I have not seen any recipes on this string, but assume that sautéed in butter is best. If I’ve got the ID wrong you may be the last to hear from me, so à la prochaine or maybe adieu. PS: Just saw “View all recipes” below