1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.22 out of 5)
Loading...

Wood Blewit

Edible Edible
Autumn Autumn
Winter Winter

A lovely gourmet mushroom that can be found from November to February when there is not that many other mushrooms about.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Wood Blewit, Pied Bleu
Scientific Name Lepista nuda
Season Start Oct
Season End Feb
Average Mushroom height (CM) 10
Average Cap width (CM) 12
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

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.

Gills

Gills Lilac, purple or blueish but can be paler especially when very mature. Crowded.

Stem

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.

Flesh

Purple, lilac or blue sometimes white towards the middle fading with age.

Habitat

Saprobic on leaf litter in woodland, grassland, hedgerows and gardens.

Possible Confusion

Some of the Cortinarius species, especially the Bruising Webcap, 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.
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.

Spore Print

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.

Frequency

Very Common.

Other Facts

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.

COMMENTS

4 comments for Wood Blewit

  1. Gemma says:

    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 .

  2. Ruby Gray says:

    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!

  3. Buo says:

    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.

  4. Steve says:

    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.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RELATED WILD FOOD RECIPES

RELATED FORAGING ARTICLES