When: 2011-10-18

Collection location: Xico Viejo, Veracruz, Mexico [Click for map]

Who: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)

Specimen available

Under pine.

Extremely strong odor both fresh and dried. Hard to describe, kind of kind dried shrimp.

When I picked this collection I put it in a paper bag and left it on the dashboard. The next morning I was driving and my car smelled awful. I accused my friends of leaving something rotting, but they wouldn’t fess up. The car smelled awful, like an ocean of dead seafood. Later I realized it was my mushrooms and apologized to my friends.

Spores minutely to moderately bumpy, inequilateral, ellipsoid to mango shaped.

Spore measurements:

7.4 [8.3 ; 8.9] 9.8 × 4.5 [5 ; 5.3] 5.8 µm
Q = 1.3 [1.6 ; 1.8] 2 ; N = 15 ; C = 95%
Me = 8.6 × 5.1 µm ; Qe = 1.7

9.27 4.95
8.88 4.73
9.32 5.12
7.88 5.01
8.44 5.39
8.45 4.67
8.20 4.95
9.20 5.03
7.73 5.72
8.83 5.55
8.40 5.46
7.44 5.34
8.36 4.63
9.46 5.16
9.14 5.16

Species Lists


With KOH
Pileus cross section 100x
Spores 1000x
Spores 1000x
Spores 1000x

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
29% (1)
Used references: Dimitar
32% (3)
Used references: Irene Andersson
Based on microscopic features: Spore size matches

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
“seafood” is not a smell that I associate w/traganus…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-03-13 03:54:08 AEDT (+1100)

the classic description of the odor found in traganus (and ones that I have personally also detected in this species) describe it as “rotting pears” or “old goat”, ie the strong musk of a male goat…NOT pleasant, unless I guess you are a girl goat. ;)

Did these have an orange context when you halved them?

Otherwise, still a mystery Cort, IMO.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-11-25 01:38:18 AEDT (+1100)

the kind of smell you are describing is not what I associate to camphoratus (should be like dry-boiled potatoes – and it has blue flesh as well).

The brown flesh in these doesn’t make me happy about purpurascens group either.
It indicates something in the vicinity of C. traganus. They can have a smell that some of us find agreeable and others find awful (I’m one of the latter).

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2012-01-09 04:47:43 AEDT (+1100)

Just pine. Beech is not a common tree in Mexico.

was there any beech around?
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2012-01-09 04:31:05 AEDT (+1100)

“There’s a bit of a mess surrounding the proper name for this species of Cortinarius (see the discussion below if you care), but the mushroom itself is quite distinctive. It is mycorrhizal with beech, and features an orangish to brownish or buff cap that is thinly slimy and fringed with fuzziness; grayish to buff or very pale lilac gills; and a stem that is booted in floccose veil material that pulls away at the top of the boot to create a shaggy ring. As the mushroom matures the shagginess on the stem discolors brown in places, making it look a bit like Tricholoma caligatum. And, to top off the list of distinctive features, Cortinarius ophiopus smells pretty strongly of damp, moldy socks.

Peck (1878) described Cortinarius ophiopus on the basis of a Maryland collection that apparently had an aberrantly long and crooked stem. In North American literature the species was subsequently treated only by Kauffman (1918, 1932), who appears to have studied the type collection (he thought Peck’s dried specimens resembled dried specimens of Cortinarius corrugatus with smaller spores and stems that lacked basal bulbs) but never collected the species himself. In Europe, however, Peck’s species name was taken up in the 1990’s to accommodate a mushroom that looked like Cortinarius vulpinus but was associated with beech, stunk to high heaven, and had a sticky cap. Previously, European treatments had featured the mushroom in question as Cortinarius vulpinus or as Cortinarius rufoalbus."


I think it is not a mixed collection
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2012-01-09 03:52:54 AEDT (+1100)

The season was just about over and there were very few mushrooms out. These were the only mushrooms in this pine forest, just a few feet apart. They all have the same strong odor.

Cortinarius purpurascens gr.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2012-01-08 17:44:17 AEDT (+1100)

Alan, very cool find, the one on the top is clearly something in the Cortinarius purpurascens gr. And it would be extremely nice if we could get a bit of material. This species is well known in the Northern Hemisphere and a find from Mexico is exciting to see. It is a pine associate.

C. purpurascens s.l. at mushroomhobby.com

The odor you mention baffles me a bit – I do usually detect something similar to some Hygrophori like H. purpurascens, but it is never that prominent.

You might have a mixed collection though – some of the photos I do not recognize quite as the same species, but they could be…


By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2012-01-08 16:06:28 AEDT (+1100)

kind of looks like one to me.