Photo: © Sharmin Gamiet
Cortinarius camphoratus

Pileus: 2.5 - 8.0 cm broad; convex at first then shallowly and broadly umbonate to planar, finally becoming campanulate; margins inrolled when young, becoming incurved and finally decurved, straight and even when young, becoming undulating and flaring when mature, at times cracking and becoming eroded, often with a membranous veil on edges; surface dry to moist, polished, silky fibrous, at times with appressed fibrils, usually glabrous, when young pale violet to violet white on disc fading to pallid towards margins, when mature becoming light yellowish brown on disc fading to pallid, ivory on margins and edges; context 1 cm at junction of stipe, firm, pallid to ivory with some faint yellowish brown colours when bruised; taste mild; odour distinctive, variously described as ‘wet or rotten potatoes’, ‘foetid’, ‘rotting meat’, ‘deer’ becoming more intense on drying.

Lamellae: Horizontal to ascending at first, then notched, at times subdecurrent, 5 mm broad, ventricose, average to crowded, edges minutely serrate, when young dark to deep violet fading to lilac with maturity and finally becoming orange to light brown with age; 1 - 3 lamellulae.

Stipe: 4 - 7 cm long X 0.5 - 1.5 cm wide at apex and 2.5 - 4.5 cm wide at base; tapering upwards to club shaped, at times equal; surface dry, silky fibrous; pale violet to lilac at apex, becoming pallid to yellow brown towards base, darkening with handling; context solid at first becoming hollow with age, firm, pale violet to lilac at apex, pallid at base, when mature evenly off white; veil pale lilac grey.

Microcharacteristics: Spore print rusty brown; spores ellipsoid, 8.9 - 11.1 X 5.2 - 6.7 µm, hymenial cystidia abundant and filiform to fusoid ventricose type.

Comments: This species can be confused with C. traganus in these forests but is separated from C. traganus by having lilac blue gills, more lilac to pallid colours and a distinctive unpleasant odour. C. traganus has no lilac colours in the gills and has deeper purple blue colours in the pileus and stipe.

Further Reading:

Arora, D. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified. Ten Speed Press. Berkeley, Ca. pp 958.

Moser, M. 1983. Keys to Agarics and Boleti (Polyporales, Boletales, Agaricales, Russulales). Roger Phillips. London. Eng. pp. 535.