Thursday, 17 May 2012

Possibly Wood Blewit

While tidying up some dead daisies and periwinkle today I found several clumps of fungal fruiting bodies under the map of vegetation.   They were an interesting violet colour (see below).

The somewhat splatted appearance in the second image is regretted but it is what happens when a brush cutter hits a fungus!

Using the colour guide in Fungi Down Under  (FDU) I conclude that
  • the upper surface of the cap matches colour 66 in the Brown-Pink range;
  • the gills are 148 in the Violet-Mauve-Pink range; and
  • the stem - particularly the base   is 137 , also in the Violet-Mauve-Pink range.
Overnight I have collected a spore print, positioning the fungus so that it deposited the spores on both black and white paper to allow for it being a white(ish) or red brown print.  It was what I would term 'dirty white' but could be what FDU describes as "dingy pink".  It is certainly not rusty brown.  I am thus happy with the identification as Wood Blewit.

Referring to Fuhrer as well as FDU gave a good match to Lepista nuda.  Googling this name produced a link to Wikipedia suggesting that this species has had more names than any other organism I have come across!  For once the vernacular name - Wood Blewit - appears more stable than the scientific equivalent. 

Although these fungi were not growing in association with introduced trees such as pines the daisies and periwinkle are certainly not indigenous plants.  Thus I think that this observation conforms with the hypothesis that the fungus is introduced,   Certainly there seems a large gap in the known distribution between Europe or North America and Australia.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Sydney Fugal Studies Group Gallery bears out your ID.
The other most likely option, for a violet fungus, would be a Cortinarius sp. but they have a very distinctive rusty brown spore print and their spores are prolific, (or at least more obviously so than most, because of their strong colour).
Nice find.

Flabmeister said...

Thanks Denis. I tend to overlook the SFSG so your post is a good reminder. I am about to update the post as the spore of this fungus turns out to be off-white.