Cort

(Cortinarius atkinsonianus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common in eastern North America

Season

Fall

Habitat/Hosts

Deciduous forests and woodlands


Identification

This is a common and widespread mushroom in eastern North America. It is found on the ground either scattered or growing close together (gregarious) but not in clusters. It is sometimes found in rings or arcs. It obtains its nutrients from the rootlets of living trees (mycorrhizal). It appears in the fall under or near hardwoods in deciduous and mixed forests and woodlands.

The cap is 2 to 6in diameter. It is slimy when it first emerges from the ground. When young it is olive-yellow to yellowish and convex, and the margin is rolled inward. The surface is smooth when dry, sticky or slimy when moist. Later it may be dry but with dirt and debris stuck to the cap. As it ages the cap becomes broadly convex or flat and darkens to deep reddish-brown from the center outwards, with the margin remaining olive-yellow.

The stalk 1½ to 4¾ tall and to 1¼ in diameter at the top. When young, it has a conspicuous, abrupt, rimmed, 1¼ to 2¾ wide bulb at the base. As the stalk lengthens, the bulb becomes less abrupt. The stalk is solid and dry, not slimy or sticky. The color is variable, with olive-yellow or pale lavender at the top or throughout its length.

The gills are closely spaced and are narrowly to broadly attached to the stalk. They do not run down the stalk. They are greenish-yellow at first, become pale lavender with yellow edges for a short time, ultimately fading to cinnamon-brown. When young, the gills are protected with a partial veil that is cobwebby or silky in texture (cortina). The cortina is greenish-yellow at first, becoming rusty-brown as it is covered with spores. When it collapses to allow the dispersal of spores, it leaves hairs on the stem that trap the spores.

The flesh is thick, firm, and whitish to pale yellow with lavender or violet areas. It stains lavender or violet when bruised. The edibility is unknown.

The spore print is rusty-brown.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 26, 29, 30.


Comments

What’s in a Name?
Cortinarius is the largest genus of gilled mushrooms. There are estimated to be over 1,000 species worldwide. The common name “Cort” used here refers to all fungi in the genus, most of which have no individual common name, many of which remain unclassified.

Poisonous?
Many Cortinarius mushrooms are poisonous. Due to the difficulty of identifying them to the species level, it is recommended that Cortinarius mushrooms are not eaten.


Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Agaricomycetidae

 

Order:

Agaricales (gill mushrooms)

 

Family:

Cortinariaceae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

no common name (see Comments above)


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Cortina

On mushrooms: A thin, silky or cobwebby veil, attached to the cap and the stalk, that protects the developing gills.

 

Mycorrhizal

A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.

 

Partial veil

A protective covering over the gills or pores of a developing mushroom. At maturity it disappears, collapses into a ring around the stem, or wears away into a cobwebby covering and ring zone.

       

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  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)    
       

Fairy Ring

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)    
       

Gregarious

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)   Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)
       
  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)   Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)
       

Mushroom

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)    
       

Cap

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)    
       

Stalk

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)   Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)
       

Gills

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)    
       

Flesh

  Cort (Cortinarius atkinsonianus)    
       
       
       

 

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