Clitocybe nuda

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Clitocybe nuda
Lepista nuda LC0372.jpg
Wood blewit (Lepista nuda)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Tricholomataceae
Genus: Clitocybe
Species: C. nuda
Binomial name
Clitocybe nuda
(Bull.) H.E.Bigelow & A.H.Sm. (1969)
Synonyms[1]

Agaricus nudus Bull. (1790)
Cortinarius nudus (Bull.) Gray (1821)
Gyrophila nuda (Fr.) Quél. (1886)
Lepista nuda (Bull.) Cooke (1871)
Tricholoma nudum (Bull.) P.Kumm. (1871)
Rhodopaxillus nudus (Bull.) Maire (1913) Tricholoma personatum var. nudum (Bull.) Rick (1961)

Clitocybe nuda
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium

cap is convex

or umbonate
hymenium is emarginate
stipe is bare
spore print is pink
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: choice

Clitocybe nuda, commonly known as the wood blewit and alternately described as Lepista nuda, is an edible mushroom native to Europe and North America. Described by Pierre Bulliard in 1790, it was also known as Tricholoma nudum for many years. It is found in both coniferous and deciduous woodlands. It is a fairly distinctive mushroom that is widely eaten, though there is some caution about edibility. Nevertheless, it has been cultivated in Britain, the Netherlands and France.

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The French mycologist Pierre Bulliard described the wood blewit in his work Herbier de la France in 1790 as Agaricus nudus, reporting that it was common in the woods all year. He wrote of two varieties: one whose gills and cap are initially light violet and mature to burgundy, while the other has vine-coloured gills that intensify in colour with age. He added that the first variety was often confused with Cortinarius violaceus, though it has a "nude" cap and no spidery web veil unlike the other species.[2] James Bolton gave it the name Agaricus bulbosa—the bulbous agaric—in his An History of Fungusses growing about Halifax in 1791. He noted that it was rare in the region, though had found some in Ovenden.[3]

Paul Kummer placed it in the genus Tricholoma in 1871,[4] the same year that Mordecai Cubitt Cooke placed it in Lepista.[5] It was known by these names for many years, with some authors accepting Lepista and while others retained the wood blewit in Tricholoma. In 1969 Howard E. Bigelow and Alexander H. Smith reviewed Lepista and reclassified it as a subgenus of Clitocybe[6] Finnish mycologist Harri Harmaja has called for the sinking of Lepista into Clitocybe, with C. nebularis as the type species of the latter genus.[7] Hence the wood blewit is classified as either Lepista nuda or Clitocybe nuda.[8]

A 2015 genetic study found that the genera Collybia and Lepista were closely related to the core clade of Clitocybe, but that all three were polyphyletic, with many members in lineages removed from other members of the same genus and instead more closely related to the other two. To complicate matters, the wood blewit is not closely related to the type species of Lepista, L. densifolia. Alvarado and colleagues declined to define the genera but proposed several options and highlighted the need for a wider analysis.[8]

The species is commonly known as the wood blewit. Cooke called it the amethyst lepista,[5] John Sibthorp called it the blue-gilled agaric in his 1794 work Flora Oxoniensis,[9]

Description[edit]

This mushroom can range from lilac to purple-pink. Some North American specimens are duller and tend toward tan, but usually have purplish tones on the stem and gills. The gills are attached to the short, stout stem. Mature specimens have a darker color and flatter cap; younger ones are lighter with more convex caps. Wood blewits have a very distinctive odor, which has been likened by one author to that of frozen orange juice.[10]

Wood blewits can be confused with certain purple species of the genus Cortinarius, including the uncommon C. camphoratus,[11] many of which may be poisonous. Cortinarius mushrooms often have the remains of a veil under their caps and a ring-like impression on their stem. Wood blewits can be easily distinguished by their odor, as well as by their spore print. Wood blewits have a light (white to pale pink) spore print; Cortinarius species produce a rusty brown spore print after several hours on white paper. Their brown spores often dust their stems and objects beneath them.[12]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The wood blewit is found in Europe and North America and is becoming more common in Australia, where it appears to have been introduced. It is a saprotrophic species, growing on decaying leaf litter. In the United Kingdom, it appears from September through to December.

Soil analysis of soil containing mycelium from a wood blewit fairy ring under Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in southeast Sweden yielded fourteen halogenated low molecular weight organic compounds, three of which were brominated and the others chlorinated. It is unclear whether these were metabolites or pollutants. Brominated compounds are unknown as metabolites from terrestrial fungi.[13]

Ecology[edit]

In Australia, male satin bowerbirds collect blue objects to decorate their bowers with. A young male was reported to have collected wood blewits to this end near Braidwood in southern New South Wales.[14]

Edibility[edit]

Wood blewits are generally regarded as a good edible, but they are known to cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. This is particularly likely if the mushroom is consumed raw, though allergic reactions are known even from cooked blewits. It is therefore important to cook wood blewits before eating, as consumption of raw specimens could lead to indigestion. Wood blewits contain the sugar trehalose, which is edible for most people.

Blewits can be eaten as a cream sauce or sautéed in butter. They can also be cooked like tripe or as omelette filling, and also make good stewing mushrooms.[15] They have a strong flavour, so they combine well with leeks or onions.[11]

Wood blewits can be preserved in olive oil or white vinegar after blanching.[11]

The wood blewit has been cultivated in Britain, the Netherlands and France.[16] Cultivated wood blewits are said not to taste as good as wild wood blewits.[11]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Clitocybe nuda (Bull.) H.E. Bigelow & A.H. Sm. 1969". MycoBank. International Mycological Association. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  2. ^ Bulliard JPF (1790). Herbier de la France (in French). 8. Paris: Chez l'auteur, Didot, Debure, Belin. p. plate 439. 
  3. ^ Bolton J (1791). An History of Fungusses growing about Halifax. Appendix. Self-published. p. 147. 
  4. ^ Kummer P (1871). Der Führer in die Pilzkunde (in German) (1 ed.). Zerbst, Germany: Luppe. p. 132. 
  5. ^ a b Cooke MC. (1871). Handbook of British Fungi, with Full Descriptions of All the Species, and Illustrations of the Genera. London: Macmillan and Co. p. 192. 
  6. ^ Bigelow HE, Smith AH (1969). "The status of Lepista—a new section of Clitocybe". Brittonia. 21 (2): 144–77. doi:10.2307/2805523. 
  7. ^ Harmaja, H. (2003). Notes on Clitocybe s. lato (Agaricales). Ann. Bot. Fennici 40: 213-218.
  8. ^ a b Alvarado P, Moreno G, Vizzini A, Consiglio G, Manjón JL, Setti L (2015). "Atractosporocybe, Leucocybe and Rhizocybe, three new clitocyboid genera in the Tricholomatoid clade (Agaricales) with notes on Clitocybe and Lepista". Mycologia. 107 (1): 123–36. doi:10.3852/13-369. PMID 25344261. 
  9. ^ Sibthorp J (1794). Flora Oxoniensis, Exhibens Plantas in Agro Oxoniensi Sponte Crescentes. Oxford, United Kingdom: Fletcher, Hanwell & Cook. p. 346. 
  10. ^ Arora D (1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-89815-169-4. 
  11. ^ a b c d Jordan P (2006). Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers. pp. 76–77, 150. ISBN 1-84537-419-3. 
  12. ^ McFarland, Joe; Mueller, Gregory M (2009). Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois & Surrounding States: A Field-To-Kitchen Guide. University of Illinois Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 0-252-07643-5. 
  13. ^ Hjelm, Olof (1996). "Analysis of halogenated organic compounds in coniferous forest soil from a Lepista nuda (wood blewitt) fairy ring". Chemosphere. 32 (9): 1719–28. doi:10.1016/0045-6535(96)00089-6. ISSN 0045-6535. 
  14. ^ Todd F.Elliott; Peter A.Marshall (2016). "Animal-Fungal Interactions 1: Notes on Bowerbird's Use of Fungi". Australian Zoologist. 38 (1): 59–61. doi:10.7882/AZ.2015.032. 
  15. ^ Mabey R (2004). Food for Free. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-718303-8. 
  16. ^ Carluccio A (2003). The Complete Mushroom Book. Quadrille. ISBN 0-8478-2556-6. 

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