Photo of the Day #654: Purple mushrooms

i-89068554442ff64d83a07dbc692fcdc8-Hike July 26 2009 056-thumb-336x500-16659.jpg

A pair of purple mushrooms, photographed near High Point, New Jersey. Is there a mycologist in the house?

i-889229a3fb9d51c0c598f1ee9e997531-Hike July 26 2009 025-thumb-336x500-16661.jpg

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The angle of these photographs obscures several features that would be useful to confirm an identification, and we of course lack a spore print here.

The sheen in the photos makes the cap appear slimy. Running with that assumption, we're immediately narrowed down to a subgenus of Cortinarius called Myxacium. Despite having a lot of purple mushrooms (and some green ones), Cortinarius is largely a genus of poorly described brownish species (a couple of which, it should be pointed out, are lethally toxic).

But there aren't a lot of options for the purple-and-yellowish mottled cap in that bottom picture. So I'm going with C. iodes as my tentative identification. For comparison, here is a very nice pair of C. iodes by a professional photographer.

By Serpent's Choice (not verified) on 29 Jul 2009 #permalink