Wood Blewit - Lepista nuda
Fruits Autumn to Winter
Grows in leaf litter
Fruits as individual specimens or in groups, sometimes in rings
Cap lilac turning buff from the centre with age
Convex cap flattens with age and has an inrolled margin
Wavy cap margins often seen in older specimens
Cap can reach 5-15cm wide
Fairly robust, fibrous, lilac stem 5-10cm tall and and 1.5-2.5cm wide
Stem base downy and often swollen
Flesh is lilac turning brown with age
Lilac, crowded and sinuate gills
Spore print is pale cream-pink
Wood Blewit - Lepista nuda
Edible mushroom - intermediate
Other common names: Blewit, Blue Cap, Blue Hat, Blue Leg
Scientific name meaning: Lepista is Latin for Goblet, and Nuda is from the Latin Nudus, meaning naked or stripped of cover
Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Winter
Habitat - where will I find it? The Wood Blewit is found most often in leaf litter in woodland, under hedges, and on compost heaps
Description - what does it look like?
Growth: The Wood Blewit is a saprobic mushroom living on leaf litter, under hedges or on compost heaps. It can be found individually, in small groups, and sometimes in rings
Cap: The fleshy cap is 5-15cm wide and sarts off violet in colour. It turns tan brown from the centre as it ages or dries. It is convex, often with an umbo (bump), flattens with age and has an inrolled margin. The edge of the cap often end up wavy with age
Gills: Lilac in colour and fading to buff with age. The crowded gills are sinuate (attached to the stem at the very top of the gills but with a little notch before the attachment)
Flesh: Lilac and browning with age
Stem: The fairly robust, fibrous stem is lilac in colour and 1.5-2.5cm wide. It can reach 5-10cm tall and is downy. There is no stem ring/skirt and the base of the stem is very downy
Spore colour: Pale cream to pale pink
Possible lookalikes Could also be confused with purple Cortinarius species, but these have sturdier stems and rust browns spores that can often be seen on the web-like cortina remains on the stem.
The Clouded Agaric (Clitocybe nebularis) grows in the same habitat and has a similar stature to the Wood Blewit. However, its cap is grey-brown, and it has pale cream gills that run down the stem (decurrent)
The Sordid Blewit (Lepista nuda) is very simiar and grows in the same habitat. However, this is also edible. It is more delicate with a thinner stem and thinner cap flesh
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. See also Hazards
Use in medicine Some anti-diabetic, anti-hyperglycemic and antimicrobial effects have been seen under laboratory conditions
If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner
Hazards Wood Blewits have been reported to cause mild gastric intolerance in some people - perform a tolerance test before eating for the first time.
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!