Clitocybe nuda

(Also known as Lepista nuda)

Blewit

Order Agaricales, family Tricholomataceae

CAP CONVEX, LILAC FADING TO GRAY

Cap:  4-14 cm wide; convex with enrolled cap edge when young, becoming uplifted and wavy with age; pale lilac, fading to gray; fruity smell

Clitocybe nudaspore print

GILLS SLIGHTLY DESCENDING DOWN STALK

Gills:  slightly descending down stalk; close; grayish purple fading to buff

STALK SOLID, ENLARGED AT BASE

Stalk:  3-7 cm long, 1-3 cm thick; often enlarged base; solid; lilac to gray; often mycelium (white hairs) visible at base

SPORE PRINT PINKISH BUFF

ON DECOMPOSING ORGANIC MATTER

EDIBLE, CHOICE

Lookalikes:

C. irina -- not purplish

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO KNOW...

This is an uncommon mushroom in the city, but a prized edible.  As mycologist David Arora writes in his excellent field guide, Mushrooms Demystified, "[The Blewit] has the dubious distinction of being one of the few purple foods that actually tastes good. It is even popular in fungophobic England and Scotland, where is it sometimes sold in markets."  Some specimens are more purple or lilac than others.  Don't throw a gray blewit in the compost pile with the Chlorophyllum molybdites.  Conversely, don't eat all purple mushrooms.  Some may be poisonous.


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