Cortinarius salor: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Cortinarius salor Mushroom
Cortinarius salor is an inedible small to medium-sized species that is fairly common in coniferous forests. When fresh and young, it is a spectacular species with a dark blue-purple cap, gills, and stems. As they age, the corolla and stem usually turn ochre to yellow, with the blue-purple fading away. The bluish-purple veil usually leaves a small area near the shoot tip. C. salor is considered Myxacium due to the stickiness of the stem and cap, but this may change as its circular spore and cap structure is similar to that of C. anomalus, and a possible relationship has been supported by molecular data. C. salor can appear in the form of rapidly turning olive-yellow or ochre brown.
It is a basidiomycete fungus of the genus Cortinarius native to Europe and Asia, spreading as far east as Japan and New Guinea. C. salor is also found in conifer forests of the North American Pacific Northwest.
Other names: Blue Cobweb.
Cortinarius salor Identification
Fleshy has a diameter between 4 and 10 cm, it is at first hemispherically vaulted with the edges turned inwards, but it soon becomes convex and then flat, often with a central flattened gurgui. The cuticle is smooth and greasy to very mucous. The coloration, for a long time bright blue-violet, fades with advancing age, also acquiring ochre-yellowish, ochre-brown, or ochre-olive spots, especially towards the top.
Thin and crowded, slightly convex, interspersed and bifurcated as if attached to the foot, being enveloped at first by a lilac-blue curtain, a remnant of the partial veil that lasts for a certain period, then becoming olive-grey with shades yellowish. The color, first blue-violet, changes with advancing age, becoming gray-brown, in old age rust.
5-12 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide is solid, more or less cylindrical with a club-shaped base up to 3 cm thick and plump inside. The smooth surface is sticky and glossy, the bottom often even slimy. The color is whitish to faint purple-bluish. It has no true ring, but wears a thin ochre-brown cord, a remnant of the partial veil.
Whitish, when young directly under the blue cuticle, later faint gray-brown with strong bluish shades in the leg. It often discolors only after cutting. The smell is unremarkable and the taste mild.
It has ochre-yellow, round, warty spores with a single apicule and a diameter of 7-9 microns. Their dust is rust. Basidia clavate with 4 sterigmes each measuring 30-35 x 7-10 microns. Cystids (sterile elements located in the hymenal layer or between the cells in the skin of the cap and foot, probably with an excretory role) of the same size are club-shaped with rounded tips. Clamps are present.
Flesh is discolored with brown phenol.
Cortinarius salor Look-Alikes
Clitocybe nebularis, (limited edible) Cortinarius alboviolaceus (inedible, when young with grey-violet blades, smell and taste of raw potatoes), Cortinarius caerulescens (inedible ), Cortinarius camphoratus (inedible), Cortinarius cyanites (inedible, when young with blue-violet blades, when old brown-violet, sweet smell and bitter taste), Cortinarius epipoleus (inedible ), Cortinarius evernius (inedible), Cortinarius delibutus (edible), Cortinarius glaucopus (edible), Cortinarius iodes (edible, with mucous cuticle, when young with purple blades, flesh being white, odor and unostentatious taste), Cortinarius purpurascens (edible), Cortinarius stillatitius (edible), Cortinarius traganus (poisonous), Cortinarius violaceus (edible, cap, lamellae and flesh purple-blue, smell of cedar wood and pleasant taste), respectively Lepista glaucocana (edible, bluish-gray cuticle, purple-gray or pink blades, earthy smell), Lepista nuda (edible, with purple-brown cuticle, purple-gray leg, pinkish-purple flesh; fragrant smell like violins and quite pleasant taste) Lepista personata (edible, pale gray-brown hat, whitish to bluish-gray blades, pleasant smell), or with Lepista sordida (edible, smaller and lighter in color, strong aromatic smell, something earthy, sometimes cyanide).
Cortinarius salor Taxonomy
The binomial name was determined under the name and valid current (2021) by the great Swedish scientist Elias Magnus Fries, to be verified in his book Epicrisis systematis mycologici, seu synopsis hymenomycetum from 1838.
Otto Kuntze's name Gomphos salor of 1891, based on Fries's description and French mycologist Jacques Melot's variation of 1985 are accepted as synonyms.
The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word (Latin salor=of the color of the sea), due to the appearance of the cuticle.
Cortinarius salor Synonyms
Gomphos salor (Fr.) O.Kuntze (1891)
Cortinarius salor var. coniferarum Melot (1985)
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