Collection location: Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk, Russia [Click for map]
I’ve just looked through all images of L. glaucocana here on MO and got an impression that they’re mostly pale blewits, L. nuda. The issue of the difference between the two came up yesterday on a Russian mycology forum, and I feel I should post some true “glaucocanas” because they’re a very common late summer pine forest species in our area (while L. nuda is very rare).
IMO it’s not true that Lepista glaucocana is just a paler verison of Lepista nuda with a different ecology (that’s basically what the authors of Nordic Macromycetes say on the issue). The former is very pale, usually off-white pallid tan with very slight purplish tinges in the gills and in the cap colour of very young and soaked specimens; it is a conifer-loving species as opposed to the leaf-litter eating L. nuda; its shape is less “classic” (L. nuda are almost always convex-capped and pretty), it tends to expand, swell, thin out, crackle in the stem, become wavy and watery, etc. rather quickly, and is in general more massive and stocky. Also, young specimens sometimes have stems which are almost bulbous at the base. The stem surface is noticeably more textured in L. glaucocana than it is in L. nuda.
I’ve never found enough L. nuda fruitbodies to appreciate its anecdotal great taste, but our local L. glaucocana smells like wet earth and tastes like styrofoam, I guess you could add it to pickled Lactarii just for the sake of increasing the brine-absorbing biomass, but I seriously doubt its value as a stand-alone dish :)
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I get the impression that hardly any of the California material can be matched to L. glaucocana, but someone just needs to do a year of research to clear up the issue.
Created: 2011-03-11 06:02:40 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-03-11 06:09:07 CST (-0500)
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