Cortinarius (Sericeocybe) pearsonii

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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Cortinarius (Sericeocybe) pearsonii P.D. Orton syn. C. cremeolaniger P.D. Orton, syn. C. lanigeroides P.D. Orton (illustrated 40% life size) Cap 4–15cm across, convex then expanded and slightly umbonate, margin becoming wavy and sometimes cracked; pale ochraceous-buff, becoming darker reddish-buff; covered in white, silky veil, which breaks up into small, flattened scales. Stem 100–150×10–25mm, swollen towards base; pale lavender at first, then pale cream, becoming streaked reddish-brown from base up; a few shaggy ring zones formed by the remnants of the veil and cortina. Flesh pale lilac, discolouring ochre-buff with age, especially in stem base; taste and smell pleasant. Gills adnate; pale lilac at first, soon cinnamon, later rusty. Spores 6–8×3–4¼, elliptical to almond-shaped, smooth. Spore print rust. Habitat in mixed woods on sandy soil; autumn. Very rare. Suspect avoid. Note this species is part of a complex with exceptionally narrow spores: C. pearsonii has violet gill tones; C. cremeolaniger has no violet tones; C. lanigeroides has occasional violet tones, and is thought to be intermediate. I made further collections from the same spot in following years and found that the violet colouring varied from collection to collection; I have therefore continued to use the first of the names published, and suggest that they are all colour variations of the same species.