Field Blewit - Lepista saeva

Main features

  • Fruits Autumn to Winter

  • Grows in rings in grassland, sometimes woodland

  • Likes ground with lots of organic decaying matter

  • Smells perfumed

  • Cap cream to buff-grey and domed, flattening with age

  • Cap can reach 2-10cm and has an inrolled margin

  • Sturdy, fibrous stem up to 6cm tall and and 1-3cm wide

  • Stem flushed purple and often swollen at the base

  • No ring/skirt

  • Stem smooth above ring and slightly scaly below

  • Flesh is cream to buff-grey

  • Cream crowded and free or sinuate gills 

  • Spore print is white

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Field Blewit - Lepista saeva

Edible mushroom - novice

Other common names: Blue Leg

 

Scientific name meaning: Lepista is Latin for Goblet, and Saeva is from the Latin Saevus, meaning wild or savage 

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

Habitat - where will I find it? The Field Blewit is found most often in grassland and occasionally woodland

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Field Blewit is a saprobic mushroom living on dead and decaying organic matter under the sward, or leaf litter. It grows in rings 

Cap: The cap is cream to buff-grey and dome-shaped. It can be a 5-15cm wide and has an inrolled margin. Mature specimens can have an uneven edge

Gills: Starting off very pale cream, the crowded gills turn more buff as they age. They are sinuate (attached to the stem via a small tooth-like attachment) or sometimes free of the stem

Flesh: cream to buff coloured

Stem: Sturdy and 1-3cm wide, the fibrous stem is flushed purple, especially in younger specimens. The base of the stem, which can reach 6cm tall, is often swollen

Smell: Perfumed/floral

Spore colour: Pale pink-buff to cream

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with purple stemmed Webcap (Cortinarius) species. However, they often have a rust-brown spore deposit on there stems and are mycorrhizal with trees, so will grow near to them. Field Blewits are predominantly grassland species

Use as a food Must be cooked and can be used exactly as a cultivated mushroom. It has a strong fragrant flavour, so works well with cream/cream substitutes

Use in herbal medicine None known

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

Hazards This mushroom can grow on roadside grass verges where it can accumulate traffic-related toxins. It is advisable to avoid harvesting from the sides of busy roads

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!