What You Should Know
Lepista irina is an uncommon woodland species, the Flowery Blewit owes its common name to a distinctive flowery (not floury!) odor.
This is a common and widespread, medium-to-large-sized mushroom. It typically grows in late summer well into the autumn either in small groups, clusters, or fairy rings. It grows on the ground in soil or on woody debris. It is saprobic, obtaining its nutrients from decaying organic matter.
Other names: Flowery Blewit, Clitocybe Irina.
Lepista irina Mushroom Identification
The cap measures 5 to 10 cm across; growing hemispherical then broadly convex with an undulating margin. The cap is smooth, white becoming pale beige. When moist, it is pinkish brown towards the center. When the mushroom first appears, the cap can be sticky. The flesh is thick, white to pinkish, and soft.
4 to 9cm long and 0.5 to 1.0cm dia.; fibrillose; sometimes slightly swollen at base; pinkish-brown; no ring.
Deciduous and sometimes conifer forests. Most common in deciduous forests.
Late summer well into autumn.
The gills are adnate or sinuate; narrow; crowded; cream, turning buff-pink when mature.
It is edible when fully cooked; however, it has been known to cause an upset stomach in some individuals.
Clitocybe nuda, the Wood Blewit, occurs in similar habitats; it is a more common species and has a violet-tinged cap.
Lepista irina Taxonomy and Etymology
This mushroom was described in 1838 and named Agaricus nudus by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries. The Flowery Blewit acquired its currently-accepted scientific name Lepista irina via a 1959 publication by American mycologist Howard E Bigelow (1923 - 1987).
Synonyms of Lepista irina include Agaricus irinus Fr. Tricholoma irinum (Fr.) P. Kumm., and Rhodopaxillus irinus (Fr.) Métrod.
Lepista is derived from Latin and means a wine pitcher or a goblet, and when fully mature the caps of Lepista species do indeed tend to become concave (sometimes referred to as being infundibuliform) like shallow chalices or goblets. The specific epithet irina means pertaining to irises (in particular to their scent).
Lepista irina Cooking Notes
Lepista irina must be cooked; never eat them raw. Edible blewits are very good if sauteed and served with pale meat such as veal, pork or chicken; they are also fine with cheese, rice and pasta dishes.
Photo 1 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 5 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic)
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