Cortinarius iodes

Cortinarius iodes
Image Courtesy of Emily Johnson
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Group of Fungi: Agaric

Family: Cortinariaceae

Latin Name: Cortinarius iodes Berk. & M. A. Curtis

Common Name: Viscid Violet Cort

Description: Total height 3–6 in (7.5–15 cm); cap 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) wide, dark purple, often with scattered pale yellow splotches, margin incurved at first, surface viscid when moist; gills close but moderately broad, pale lilac to violet at first but becoming grayish cinnamon; stalk 2 1/2–5 1/2 in (6.5–14 cm) long, 1/4–5/8 in (0.5–1.5 cm) in diameter, somewhat enlarged at the base; annulus web-like, white but tinted violet; spores rusty brown in mass.

Biological Role: Forms mycorrhizal associations with forest trees.

Habitat: On the ground in broadleaf or mixed broadleaf/conifer forests; usually solitary or occurring in small groups.

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout eastern North America.

Comments: The genus (Cortinarius) to which this fungus belongs is very large, and many of the species it contains are rather similar in appearance. Cortinarius iodes, with a dark purple cap that has a viscid (sticky) surface, is one of the few examples that is relatively easy to recognize with some degree of certainty.

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