Lepista personata

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Lepista personata
Lepista personata.JPG
Field blewit (Lepista personata) in its natural habitat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Basidiomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Tricholomataceae
Genus: Lepista
Species: L. personata
Binomial name
Lepista personata
(Fr.) Cooke
Synonyms

Lepista saeva
Clitocybe saeva
Tricholoma amethystinum
Tricholoma personatum
Tricholoma personatum f. minor
Tricholoma personatum var. anserina
Tricholoma personatum var. saevum
Tricholoma saevum
Rhodopaxillus personatus
Rhodopaxillus saevus
Agaricus anserinus
Agaricus personatus β saevus

Lepista personata
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium

cap is convex

or flat
hymenium is emarginate
stipe is bare
spore print is pink
ecology is saprotrophic

edibility: choice

or can cause allergic reactions

Lepista personata (also recognised as Lepista saeva, Clitocybe saeva and Tricholoma personatum, and commonly known as the field blewit and blue-leg) is a species of fungus. It is commonly found growing in grassy areas across Europe and is morphologically related to the wood blewit (Lepista nuda).

Taxonomy[edit]

This species was originally proclaimed by Elias Fries in 1818, as Agaricus personatus. Cooke proposed in 1871 another name still in use today — Lepista personata. Other names were to follow, namely Lepista saeva by P.D. Orton in 1960 and Clitocybe saeva by H.E. Bigelow & A.H. Smith in 1969, the latter placing the fungus in the larger genus Clitocybe.[1] In Latin, the specific epithet sævus is an adjective meaning either fierce, outrageous, angry or strong. Likewise, personatus is a participle meaning disguised, pretended or false.[2]

Description[edit]

The fruiting body of the mushroom resembles an agaric. The cap is at first hemispherical or convex, becoming almost flat with maturity, up to 16 cm in diameter. The cap cuticle is colored cream to light brown with a smooth texture to the touch, and is often seen glistening when fresh. Along the periphery, the cap ends in a thick incurved margin which may unfold as the mushroom expands. The white to pallid flesh is thick, firm and delicate upon slicing. The underside of the cap bears crowded pinkish, cream to light brown gills, which are free or emarginate in relation to the stem. The stem itself is cylindrical with a bulbous, or sometimes tapering base, and does not bear a ring. The stem is covered by a striking lavender or lilac-coloured fibrous skin which fades in older individuals, and has a thick, firm flesh concolorous with that of the cap. It is up to 6–7 cm tall and 2.5–3 cm in diameter.[3][4]

Under a light microscope, the spores are seen hyaline to pink, ellipsoid in shape, and with fine warts. The spore dimensions are 6-8 by 4-5 µm. L. personata produces a pale pink spore print.[3][4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Lepista personata is found fruiting in open grasslands, parks, pastures, forest clearings, and in the vicinity of forest edges, unlike Lepista nuda which is commonly found in woodland. Lepista personata fruits gregariously, forming distinctive fairy rings.[3][4] Its fruiting season extends from summer to the beginning of winter, and is widespread in Europe.[3] In the UK, the season extends from September through to December. It has also been allegedly reported from California in North America.[5]

Edibility[edit]

Field blewits are generally regarded as 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.

Field blewits should therefore be cooked before eating, as the consumption of raw specimens could lead to indigestion. Blewits can be eaten as a cream sauce or sautéed in butter; they can also be cooked like tripe or as an omelette filling.[6]

Field blewits are often infested with fly larvae and don't store very well; they should therefore be used soon after picking. They are also very porous, so they are best picked on a dry day.[6]

In most mycologists' opinion, the field blewits are considered excellent mushrooms, despite their coloration.

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Lepista personata taxon record details at Index Fungorum". CAB International. Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ Jamieson A, Ainsworth R, Morell T (1828). Latin dictionary: Morell's abridgment. London: Moon, Boys & Graves. pp. 400, 476. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bas C. (1995). Flora Agaricina Neerlandica : Critical Monographs on Families of Agarics and Boleti Occurring in the Netherlands Vol. 3. CRC Press. p. 74. ISBN 90-5410-616-6. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  4. ^ a b c Yordanov L.; Vanev S.; Fakirova V. (1978). The Fungi in Bulgaria (Гъбите в България). Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. p. 182. 
  5. ^ Arora, David. (1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-89815-169-4
  6. ^ a b Mabey, Richard (2004). Food for Free. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-718303-8.