Amethyst Deceiver - Laccaria amethystina

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Found in large groups in leaf litter

  • Grows underneath deciduous and coniferous trees

  • Smells mild

  • Cap starts of deep purple and pales to buff with age

  • Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens, sometimes with waves and a central depression

  • Cap 2-7cm wide

  • Fibrous, twisted and often hollow purple to lilac stem

  • Base of stem has lots of hairy mycelium threads

  • Has no stem ring/skirt 

  • Flesh is purple/lilac

  • Widely spaced, thick gills interspersed with shorter gills from the cap edge

  • Spore print is white

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Amethyst Deceiver - Laccaria amethystina

Edible mushroom - novice/intermediate

Other common names: None known

 

Scientific name meaning: Laccaria comes from the French Lacca, meaning varnish. Amethystina is derived from the Latin Amethysteus, meaning amethyst (purple) coloured

Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn
 

Habitat - where will I find it? Under deciduous and coniferous trees in leaf litter

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Amethyst Deceiver is a mycorrhizal mushroom growing with deciduous and coniferous trees. It is particularly found with Beech. It is most often found in large numbers

Cap: The caps are 2-7cm wide and start off convex. They flatten somewhat with age and often have waves, sometimes they have a central depression. They are a deep purple colour when young and turn pale buff with age, sometimes almost white

Gills: Deep purple when young, paling to lilac with age. They are thick, widely spaced and interspersed with short gills from the cap's outer edge. They gills are adnate (broadly attached to the stem) to slightly decurrent (running down the stem)

Flesh: Purple or lilac

Stem: Fibrous and often twisted and hollow, the purple stem turns lilac with age. It is usually 0.5-1cm wide, but can reach 5 to 10cm in height. Often has furry mycelium threads at its base. Has no skirt or ring

Smell: Mild

Spore colour: White

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with Mycena pura/rosea, but these smell of radish and have white gills. Could also be confused with purple Cortinarius species, but these lack the twisted hollow stems. Also could be confused with the deadly poisonous Lilac Fibrecap (Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina), but this has buff gill that turn clay-brown with age

Use as a food Must be cooked and can be used exactly as a cultivated mushroom. It has a rich meaty flavour - one of our favourite mushrooms. Sadly The Amethyst Deceiver loses its colour when cooked, and turns a dark grey-black. See also Hazards

Use in medicine None known. Please let us know if you know of any

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards The Deceiver bioaccumulates arsenic particularly well, so ensure sites that it is harvested from do not have contaminated soil. This is of particular importance in areas where there have been mining activities

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species. Worth remembering when harvesting. Younger specimens tend to have less livestock inside!

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!