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Wood Blewit

Clitocybe nuda


(also recognized as Lepista nuda and Tricholoma nudum, commonly known as the wood blewit or blue stalk mushroom), is an edible mushroom, found in both coniferous and deciduous woodlands. It is a fairly distinctive mushroom that is widely eaten, though there is some caution about edibility. Nevertheless it has been cultivated in Britain, Holland and France. This mushroom can range from lilac to purple-pink. Some North American specimens are duller and tend toward tan, but usually have purplish tones on the stem and gills. The gills are attached to the short, stout stem. Mature specimens have a darker color and flatter cap; younger ones are lighter with more convex caps. Wood blewits have a very distinctive odor, which has been likened by one author to that of frozen orange juice. Wood blewits can be confused with certain purple Cortinarius species, including the uncommon C. camphoratus,[5] many of which may be poisonous. Cortinarius mushrooms often have the remains of a veil under their caps and a ring-like impression on their stem. Wood blewits can be easily distinguished by their odor, as well as by their spore print. Wood blewits have a light (white to pale pink) spore print; Cortinarius species produce a rusty brown spore print after several hours on white paper. Their brown spores often dust their stems and objects beneath them.


The wood blewit is found in Europe and North America and is becoming more common in Australia, where it appears to have been introduced. It is a saprotrophic species, growing on decaying leaf litter. Soil analysis of soil containing mycelium from a wood blewit fairy ring under Norway spruce (Picea abies) and scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in southeast Sweden yielded fourteen halogenated low molecular weight organic compounds, three of which were brominated and the others chlorinated. It is unclear whether these were metabolites or pollutants. Brominated compounds are unknown as metabolites from terrestrial fungi.


The French mycologist Pierre Bulliard described the wood blewit in 1790 as Agaricus nudus. Paul Kummer placed it in the genus Tricholoma in 1871, the same year that Mordecai Cubitt Cooke placed it in Lepista. It was known by these names for many years. The widely used synonym Lepista nuda should no longer be used since Lepista has been synonymized with Clitocybe. The primary issue here is a debate about the correct type for the genus Clitocybe. Some, including Singer, take the type to be C. gibba. However, the majority of experts now take C. nebularis to be the type. If C. nebularis is taken to be the type, then Lepista becomes a deprecated synonym of Clitocybe, and Clitocybe nuda is the correct name for this species. Edible

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1 Comment

this Fungus has always amazed me, such a beautiful purple color and Edible.

Seattle, Washington, USA

Spotted on Dec 5, 2012
Submitted on Dec 7, 2012

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