Cortinarius caerulescens is a very frequent mushroom in the peak of the season in the evergreen oak woods of Montserrat and Mura. The cap is shiny violet color and convex shape when young, but it opens to flat and turns to ocher from the center while ageing. The full flat cap measures 10 cm diameter and displays dull ocher color with just a slight violet shade remaining on the border. The grills also begin bluish and turn to ocher. The stipe is white. It blows at the bottom, specially in young individuals.
The genus Cortinarius is really large. Its name comes from the partial veil or curtain that was covering the grills. However, the light veil disappears fast, it’s found just in still growing individuals. In mature mushrooms, usually it can be traced on the stipe by the dark strips where the veil was welded or by its two color shades, lighter on top part that was covered for a while. In addition, Cortinarius are known by the growth of the basement of the stipe with a remarked edge. They are not edible.
Other species of Cortinarius are close to C.caerulescens . Amongst the common ones, there are C.purpurascens with violet stipe, C.calochrous smaller, with a reddish shade and a big bulb in the stipe and C.elegantissimus with sulfur yellow color.
[photo Jordi Badia]