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Cortinarius caesiocanescens

[Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Cortinariaceae > Cortinarius ... ]

by Michael Kuo

This bluish gray Cortinarius features an abruptly bulbous stem with a whitish base that discolors yellowish over time. It is found under conifers (primarily pines) in Europe and, apparently, in North America. Though it is rarely if ever included in North American treatments, I have collections from Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio that appear to match Meinhard Moser's original concept (1953) of the species, which he described from the Alps.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with pines and other conifers; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; fall; North American range uncertain (see above).

Cap: 3-9 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex to nearly flat, or broadly bell-shaped; sticky; silky; pale bluish gray to purplish gray, but sometimes fading to nearly whitish or pale yellowish; the margin at first inrolled.

Gills: Attached to the stem; close; bluish gray to purplish at first, becoming rusty brown.

Stem: 6-9 cm long; up to about 2 cm thick; equal above an abruptly bulbous base; dry; pale lilac to bluish gray; silky to nearly smooth; the bulb surface whitish, discoloring yellowish with age; often adorned with with rusty cortina remnants when mature.

Flesh: Whitish to yellowish--or pale lilac to grayish in the stem.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on cap surface; pale gray to brownish on flesh.

Spore Print: Rusty brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-10 x 4-5.5 µ; amygdaliform; moderately verrucose. Cheilo- and pleurocystidia absent; marginal cells present. Pileipellis an ixocutis of hyaline to ochraceous, clamped elements.

REFERENCES: Moser, 1953. (Moser, 1983; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 2000; Knudsen & Vesterholt, 2008.) Herb. Kuo 09140702, 10030901, 09241113.

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Cortinarius caesiocanescens

Cortinarius caesiocanescens

Cortinarius caesiocanescens

Cortinarius caesiocanescens

Cortinarius caesiocanescens

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Kuo, M. (2012, January). Cortinarius caesiocanescens. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: