Scientific Name: Cortinarius torvus (Cortinariaceae). 'Cortinarius' means 'curtain', a reference to the veil over the gills in young specimens. 'Torvus' means 'fierce' or 'grim'.
English Name: Stocking Webcap (Webcap family).
French Name: Cortinaire farouche (='grim curtain'); Cortinaire à pied courbe (='curve footed curtain'); Cortinaire à chaussette (='socked curtain').
5 Key Characters:
- has an off-white 'stocking' sheath up the stem.
- stem fibrous with lower half swollen, 4 - 9 cm high.
- cap streaky pinkish brown, 4 - 10 cm across.
- gills are violet, aging to red brown.
- strong unpleasant smell, like camphor.
Lookalikes: Variable Webcap C. anomalus, which doesn't have a stocking. Purple Stocking Webcap C. mucifluoides, which has a purple stocking rather than whitish, and is very slimy.
Habitat: Broadleaf or mixed woodland, especially near Beech Fagus sylvaticus, Hazel Corylus avellana, Oaks Quercus spp, Lindens Tilia spp.
Fruiting Period: August-September-October-November.
Status: Fairly common and widespread.
Edible or Toxic? Assumed to be toxic (other webcaps are).
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: