Cortinarius traganus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Cortinarius traganus Mushroom
Cortinarius traganus is mildly poisonous a basidiomycete mushroom of the genus Cortinarius. The mushrooms are characterized by their lilac color, the rusty-brown gills and spores, and rusty-brown flesh in the stem.
Scattered to gregarious in soil under conifers and tanbark oak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus); fairly common, fruiting from early fall through mid-winter in coastal forests from Sonoma County north.
Other names: Gassy Webcap.
Cortinarius traganus Identification
4–11 cm in diameter, hemispherical with the rounded top when young, expanding with age to convex and then low convex. The color varies. In the most easily identified form of the species, the surface is vivid lilac but it can also be brown, whitish, or ochre. The cap surface is dry and silky smooth or fibrillose, or in dry weather, cracked and scaly. The flesh is mottled orange-brown.
Moderately crowded, attached to the stem and sometimes notched. The color starts light brown and becomes darker rusty brown from maturing spores.
4–11 cm long x 1–2 cm wide at the top, up to 3.5 cm wide at the base. Silvery or lilac fibrous remains of the universal veil cover the lower 3/4 of the stem's surface. The base of the stem develops brownish stains. Sliced open, the inner flesh is bright brown-yellow streaked, in contrast to the lilac colors of the outside of the mushroom.
Ring or veil
A lilac-colored, thread-like cortina, the remains of a partial veil, covers the gills of young mushrooms. After the cap expands, remnants of the cortina may form a band around the top section of the stem, made visible by the rusty brown spores that get caught in its threads. Cottony remains of the universal veil form a layer of whitish or lilac fibrils that clothe the lower part of the stem and then form woolly, whitish or lilac-tinted rings around the stem.
7–10 x 5–6 µm, brown, with a warted surface.
On the ground, in small groups, or solitary, associated with conifers, often with Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla); ectomycorrhizal.
Cortinarius malachius has a slightly scaly cap. Cortinarius camphoratus is similar in appearance and is also violet, but it has pale violet gills which soon turn rusty, and a longer stem with paling flesh at the base. It is associated with conifers, as are Cortinarius alboviolaceus.
Cortinarius traganus Taxonomy
The species was originally named Agaricus traganus by Elias Magnus Fries. It is commonly known as the "gassy webcap" the "lilac conifer Cortinarius", or the "pungent Cort".
Some authorities consider the American variant to be a distinct species, Cortinarius pyriodorus, reserving the name C. traganus for the European version.
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