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Rozites caperata 20100919w.JPG

Cortinarius caperatus, the gypsy mushroom, is an edible species found in northern regions of Europe and North America. It was known as Rozites caperata for many years, before genetic studies placed it in the large genus Cortinarius. The mushrooms appear in autumn in coniferous and beech woods, as well as heathlands in late summer and autumn. The ochre-coloured cap is up to 10 cm (4 in) across and has a fibrous surface. The clay-coloured gills are disjoint from the whitish stalk and ring under the cap. The flesh has a mild smell and flavour. Popular with mushroom foragers, C. caperatus is picked seasonally in many parts of Europe. Although highly regarded, the mushrooms are often infested with maggots. In central Europe, old specimens could be confused with the poisonous Inocybe erubescens in summer. Fruiting bodies of C. caperatus have been found to bioaccumulate mercury and radioactive isotopes of caesium. (Full article...)

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