Lepista nuda

Lepista nuda
Image Courtesy of Dan Guravich
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Group of Fungi: Agarics

Family: Tricholomataceae

Latin Name: Lepista nuda (Bull.) Cooke

Synonym(s): Clitocybe nuda (Fr.) H.E. Bigelow & A.H. Sm.

Common Name: Blewit

Description: Total height 1 5/8–3 1/2 in (4–9 cm); cap 2–5 in (5–12.5 cm) wide, convex at first but becoming flattened in age, often developing a sunken center, violet to grayish violet when young but fading to tan or pinkish buff, surface of cap smooth, margin incurved at first but expanding and becoming wavy; gills close, purple to pale violet but fading to tan or light brown; stalk 1 1/4–3 in (3–7.5 cm) long, 3/8–1 in (1–2.5 cm) in diameter, somewhat enlarged at the base, the same color as the cap; spores pinkish buff in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of litter and humus.

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

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout North America.

Comments: The distinctive violet color of Lepista nuda is usually enough to identify this fungus. It tends to fruit late in the season but can be relatively abundant. This species is considered to be a choice edible by some people.

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