My grandma is a great fan of mushrooms and knows quite a lot about them. About 10 years ago, she started throwing out mushroom remnants in one special place, in order to grow her own mushrooms. In fact, during last three years we found some parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera).

Today she found something, that nobody at home can classify. From what I searched, it might be Cortinarius privignoides, but it is marked as almost extinct here in Poland, so I doubt this classification.

I found one more candidate: Cortinarius traganus, but one thing is not right - the ones that I have don't have any special smell (just faint generic mushroomy smell) and gassy webcap should smell and taste bad. Grandma threw a lot of Cortinarius caperatus bits there, so I would expect to see this one, but what we have is very different. Maybe you have seen this or know what it really is:

Strange mushroom

The hat is light brown with faint violet shades, the leg on the outside is partly violet too, but the inside is all whitish.

Some more photos:

All three

The gills are lighter brown, almost creamy, also with a violet tone

The cut through the leg

The cut through the hat

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    The keys to mushroom identification are texture, color, color of bruise/injury color and structure of gills, color of spore print, how the membrane that covers the gills develops and if the mushroom is born from a little bag at the base or not. If you get that info you can follow a diacritic key. Maybe you can contact Paul Staments... Nov 1, 2012 at 4:10
  • The problem is that I don't have access to a Polish key (my parents have a relatively good atlas, which partly uses those features, but it is a translation of a German atlas, so it's not fully accurate). I more or less know, how to observe and describe those things you mentioned, but only in Polish. And a Pl-En dictionary robust enough to translate them for me is out of reach - I don't know if such a thing even exists. Nov 1, 2012 at 17:15
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    oh wow... hadn't ever considered that problem... sounds like you found it (I think I still wouldn't eat it though...) good luck. Nov 1, 2012 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


I am not a mushroom expert by any means, but I'll offer up two possibles - the first is edible, but must be cooked. The Field Blewit, sometimes called Blue Leg (Lepista saeva), does have purple streaking down the leg, but doesn't usually have any hint of purple or violet in the cap.

The second suggestion is one of the Russula group - these are quite difficult to identify, because there is a large variation in their appearance year on year. Russula cyanoxantha, commonly known as Charcoal Burner, is edible, has a cap which often has mixed colours, or may even be green; the leg is white, but sometimes flushed with lavender. The gills are white and crowded, and do not separate readily from the edge of the cap. Other Russula varieties also vary widely in appearance, and many are toxic, as in Russula mairei and Russula emetica.

It may be that none of these are varieties that grow in Poland, I really don't know, but I'm guessing you will!

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    When I googled Lepista personata and showed the pictures to gdandma, she said "Yes! This is it! Exaclty this!". The three in the photographs were thrown away, but should any more Blue Legs grow, we'll probably pickle them and try. Thank you! And, one of the descriptions that I found mentions, that it can be mistaken for Cortinarius traganus. Oct 28, 2012 at 14:34
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    Remember that Lepista should be cooked before eating - and some people have a reaction to them anyway.
    – Bamboo
    Oct 28, 2012 at 14:40
  • Yes, I know - any mushrooms for pickling at my home are first boiled for 3 minutes. Oct 28, 2012 at 18:39

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