Observation 79351: Cortinarius subgenus Phlegmacium (Fr.) Trog

Appalachian Trail: A big cort that is purple on the top with unfurling gills and rusty spores on the bottom. I did not measure it but I guess about 8". There was a second one the same size on the other side of the path.

Species Lists


  1. note white margin and orange center
    1. note white margin and orange center
      1. note white margin and orange center
      2. #1
        spider webs with spores
        The spider: note
        shelf-like white margin

        Proposed Names

        55% (1)
        Recognized by sight: Cort yes, iodes no… the color is okay, but I’m not so sure with that wrinkled cap, heavy veil (including remnants on the cap), rather robust stipe that doesn’t look too slimy, and lack of spots or discrete streaks. I guess it could be.

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        = Observer’s choice
        = Current consensus


        Add Comment
        dimitar, thanks for your comments
        By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
        2011-10-16 00:42:44 BST (+0100)

        Could it be
        Cortinarius cumatilis
        Cortinarius caerulescens

        I guess I should have kept a sample for spore analysis at least.
        I see the tip of the iceberg!

        Agree with Christian. And more..
        By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
        2011-10-14 06:59:43 BST (+0100)

        This is clearly not C. iodes, Christian intercepted it correctly. But to the question of what it is – this is where all hell breaks loose. See, this appearance is hard to place it in a group, other than subgen. Phlegmacium of course. After that one might consider something in the “morphological” group of Caerulescentes, which is not particularly well supported phylogenetically. It is not a calochroid species. A bit of KOH would show that – these typically have a negative (=brownish) reaction. Beyond that, if MO allowed me to easily drag & drop photos, I’d show you 5 different phlegms that have that general appearance, but are not very closely related. Looking at the spore shape, characters is a must to be able to even apply a ballpark affinity. I still think that I know where it belongs down to a tight clade, but again that would be a conjecture.


        By: Matt Sherman (Shermanii)
        2011-10-14 00:58:19 BST (+0100)

        No, I did not see any purple corts, but I did see a lot of brown or tan Cortinarius.
        I really enjoyed the fungi on the AT this past week. It was a real treat!

        Did you see a nice variety of genera when you were on the AT?

        By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
        2011-10-13 15:58:11 BST (+0100)

        These were less than 10’ from the AT last weekend. I see you were on the AT about the same time. Did you see any purple corts?

        By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
        2011-10-13 03:25:59 BST (+0100)

        I was also struck by the same notion – this should be in a guide somewhere, unless it is very infrequent or range restricted.

        Thanks Matt and Christian
        By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
        2011-10-13 00:48:56 BST (+0100)

        I will happily go along with a rejection of C. iodes. I agree with Christian’s observations / points in every case. In addition, there were none of the typically recognizable C. iodes anywhere. Just these big guys. Sounds unlikely that the only two C. iodes would be the monsters. But who can give a better label to something that is impressive and eye catching as these? Don’t you think it would be in a typical guide?

        Neat cort!
        By: Matt Sherman (Shermanii)
        2011-10-12 16:05:13 BST (+0100)

        Created: 2011-10-12 02:52:44 BST (+0100)
        Last modified: 2013-11-30 22:26:50 GMT (+0000)
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