Blewits (Clitocybe) in North Carolina?

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Fri Nov 10 02:43:06 EST 1995

In article <47nvk1$d9u at>, kasplash at (Bob Galvan) wrote:

> >Bill Chestnut <unicorn1 at> wrote:

> >>  Is this the Blewit, Clitocybe nuda, or one of it's relatives (edible, 
> >> hopefully)? Anyone in the NC(Raleigh) area having positively ID'd this 
> >> beast? I've got several pounds of them growing in my flowerbeds!!

> I disagree heartily!  My impression from the written discription, now 
> vanished in the bit-bucket, was that it "sounds like a Cortinarious to me".

Cortinarii are mycorrhizal with trees.
Cortinarii have a rusty brown spore print.
Cortinarii have a veil. (cortina)
Cortinarii have a solitary to scattered fruiting habit.

Nope, we can rule that one out.
> I recommend you find someone who can ID it for sure, in person, before you 
> eat it.   Long distance mushroom ID is good for suggestions, but it has 
> severe limitations. 

I recommend you don't eat anything you can't identify yourself.  In this
case, Bill had already done 99% of the ID.  The chief danger is that
he had confused these specimens with a related clitocybe or possibly an
entoloma if he got the spore print wrong.

"Finding someone who can ID it for sure" is of variable reliablity,
and can lead to a false sense of confidence.

In any case, wild mushrooms are never safe to eat unless tested.  On a
duck hunting trip I once encountered a large fruiting of suillus luteus
and cooked up a real gourmet camp meal of mushroom stuffed mallard.
Four of us enjoyed the meal, while the fifth member of the party became
violently ill and vomited for hours.

I no longer feed wild mushrooms to untested people.  I had never heard of
an emetic reaction to slippery jacks, but in this case I was obviously 

-- Larry Caldwell           larryc at
   Myrtle Creek, Oregon

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