Variable Webcap

Cortinarius (Sericeocybe) anomalus

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Variable Webcap Cortinarius (Sericeocybe) anomalus (Fr.) Fr. (illustrated 35% life size) Cap 2.5–7cm across, convex then expanded; dingy ochraceous flushed reddish-brown, later umber to date-brown, sometimes tinged violaceous near margin, especially when young; viscid when young. Stem 50–80Γ—4–12mm, slightly thickened at base; tinged violaceous at apex, whitish-ochre below; covered in bands of yellowish scales from the veil. Flesh whitish, tinged violaceous at stem apex and ochraceous in stem base; smell faint, pleasant. Gills adnexed; violaceous then tinged clay, finally ochre-rust. Spores 6.5–8.5Γ—5.5–7ΒΌ, broadly ovate to subglobose, minutely roughened. Spore print rust. Habitat in deciduous and coniferous woods, especially with birch and pine; autumn. Frequent. Suspect avoid. Note this is the key species of a very variable complex that some mycologists separate into three species: C. lepidopus (under which name I pictured it in my first book), C. azureus, with stronger violet tints, and C. azureovelatus, which is said to be taller.

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