Sordid Blewit – Lepista sordida
Edible mushroom – intermediate
Other common names: Sordid Blewit, Dirty Blewit
Scientific name meaning: Lepista is Latin for Goblet, and Sordida is from the Latin Sordidus, meaning foul or dirty.
From Summer to Winter
Habitat – where will I find it? The Sordid Blewit is found most often in leaf litter and compost heaps.
Description – what does it look like?
Growth: The Sordid Blewit is a saprobic mushroom living on leaf litter or compost heaps. It can be found individually and in small groups and has been reported to grow in rings.
Cap: The thin-fleshed cap is violet, 3-8cm wide, and turns tan, brown from the canter as it ages or dries. It starts off convex, often with an umbo (bump) and flattens with age. The edge of the cap often ends up slightly wavy and depresses in the center..
Gills: Lilac in color and fading to buff with age. The crowded gills are either emarginate or sinuate (attached to the stem at the very top of the gills but with a little notch before the attachment)
Flesh: Lilac and browning with age
Stem: The fibrous stem is lilac in color and 0.5-0.8cm wide. It can reach 5-6cm tall and is downy. There is no stem ring/skirt, and the base of the stem is very downy.
Spore color: Pale cream to pale pink
Possible lookalikes Could be confused with Mycena pura/rosea, but these smell of radish and have white gills. Could also be confused with purple Cortinarius species, but these have sturdier stems and rust browns spores that can often be seen on the weblike cortina remains on the stem. Also, could be confused with the deadly poisonous Lilac Fibrecap (Inocybe geophylla var. lilacina), but this has buff gills that turn clay-brown with age.
The Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda) is very similar and grows in the same habitat. However, this is also edible. It is slightly more robust with a thicker stem and thicker cap flesh.
Use as a food Must be cooked and can be used exactly as a cultivated mushroom. It has a strong fragrant flavor, so works well with cream/cream substitutes.
Use in herbal medicine None known.
If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner
Hazards This mushroom can grow on roadside grass verges where it can accumulate traffic-related toxins. It is advisable to avoid harvesting from the sides of busy roads.
Importance to other species Provides food for the larvae of a number of fly species. Worth remembering when harvesting. Younger specimens tend to have less livestock inside!