Photos: © Sharmin Gamiet
Steve Trudell
Cortinarius traganus

Pileus: 3 - 7 cm broad; convex when young, becoming umbonate to obtusely planar when mature and finally campanulate; margins inrolled at first then decurved, straight and even; surface dry, glabrous to silky fibrillose, at times areolate when mature; greyish, pastel to deep violet when young, becoming light violet on disc and pastel violet with brownish orange when mature; contex 6 mm at junction of stipe, solid, firm, when young mottled pallid and light to yellowish brown when young, when mature mottled with light brown; taste indistinct at times bitter; odour distinctive, unpleasant, variously described as ‘wet donkey’, ‘rotting pears’, ‘goat’.

Lamellae: At first ascending to horizontal then becoming notched at maturity; closely spaced, narrow, 4 mm wide, edges broadly crenate; brown when young, remaining brown when mature.

Stipe: 5 - 12 cm long X 0.6 - 1.3 cm wide at apex, 2 - 4 cm wide at base; club shaped tapering upwards, flexuous; surface dry, silky fibrillose; light lilac to reddish to greyish violet at apex becoming pallid, violet white, yellowish to light brown at base, at times bruising yellow to light brown; context, solid, fragile, colour mottled white and brown; veil violet white, at times prominent, but disappearing with age.

Microcharacteristics: Spore print rusty brown; 8 - 10 X 5 - 6 µm, warty, ellipsoid.

Comments: There is a similar species, C. camphorates, commonly found in these forests and is differentiated from C. traganus by having lilac to blue gills when young, lighter, lilac to white colour cap, and smells like ‘wet potatoes’ ‘rotten meat’. C. traganus does not have blue to lilac gills, and has a deeper and stronger lilac colour.

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.