Cortinarius traganus

Posted by Chris 10/20/13

Chris: Can anyone give me input as to whether this could be Lepista tarda (as I came up using MatchMaker) or what else I should consider?

There was only one where I found it near Lava Lake Meadow Road off of Hwy 26.

I realize the pictures are not the best, so if you cannot tell, no worry, maybe I can try again another time.

The mushroom cap was a pale purple color when I found it, however as it dried, it appeared to turn more of a brownish color. I have difficulty describing the stem, but I think I would call it fibrous in appearance (please let me know if there is a better term), and the color was lavender/purple color alternating with a pale tan color. It was curved, but of relatively equal diameter the entire length and there was no volva (I swear I took a picture., but alas, since I cannot find that picture, apparently I am delusional, as I have been previously told). The spore print was a pale buff color, and the spores were elongated 4µ x 7µ and were what I would call verruculose (again picture does little justice for what I saw with the naked eye under the me they had little nubs over the surface). My biggest dilemma is that it was not found in a dung pile, straw, or compost but rather in the forest.

Thanks for any constructive input to help make identification more productive. I am still quite new, and this does seem daunting at times.

Quinn: Looks like a cortinarius to me.

Sava: Definitely Cortinarius. Chris, note the remains of the partial veil on both stipe and the cap margin in you picture #3. That's what the cortina looks like when it breaks and starts disintegrating from the obvious cobwebby stage when the cap is not fully opened. Even more importantly, note the rusty colored fibrils on the upper part of the stipe in pictures #4 and #5. That's the next stage which you will encounter most often and thus is important to recognize. Note also how purple becomes brown with age---another typical Cort thing. Corts lose their color with age and all become brown and indistinguishable.

Collectors of the Blewit (Lepista nuda): please look at these pictures. Purple corts look very much like Blewit, if you forget to look for the (remains of) the cortina.

Lepista tarda is a smaller mushroom and grows in grass.

Chris, your microshot is fantastic. I wish I could get such pictures from my scope. Would you share with us what microscope you're using?

Judy: Sava and Quinn are right - Cortinarius traganus. I'll bet it has a ripe pear odor too - another diagnostic feature.

On Sava's comment about Blewits vs. Corts: take spore prints if you are not sure! Blewits may be whitish cream or whitish pink, and Corts are a deep rusty brown

Blewits have no Cortina-like veil, but that is why Cortinarius is what it is - a Cortina-like veil.

Chris: I have to be honest, I could say it smelled a little sweet, but couldn't be confident to call it a ripe pear odor... I'll check it out on my next one.
Thanks again,

Judy, Sava, and Quinn,
I thank you again for your input.
On a recent foray, I was able to get to see this mushroom again, and my fellow shroomers did indeed think they found a Blewit, but once I shared our correspondences and photographs showing the veil remnants, we were able to identify that it, too, was Cortinarius traganus. I was able to smell it and did identify the ripe pear odor, too. A wonderful experience!!!
I am so thankful to be learning from you all..

Yep, I see Cortinarius traganus!! Thank you so much for your help. I knew I was not likely correct with the fact that I didn't find it where the Lepista should be found. And, I did see those cobweb-like remminants of the veil, but didn't make that connection. ARGH! This is more difficult than I ever imagined. Now, to figure out where I took the wrong turn on the key. I will persevere!!!

@ Sava my microscope is an Accu-Scope 3000 series. I only wish I had a better camera for it, I currently use my iphone camera held up to one of the eyepieces (and hold my breath to center)...Oh! to have a microscope camera...or a regular camera...or....(any of the myriad of things I want for my new hobby) :)

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