Shaggy ink cap, Lawyers wig, Shaggy mane
Lepista nuda or more commonly known as the wood blewit is a highly sought after mushroom all over the world. It is considered one of the best edible mushrooms due to its strong intense flavour. My husband loves them but to me they taste ferrety! ( for the vegetarians and vegans i have never eaten ferret :))
NOTE: Lepista nuda MUST be cooked prior to consumption as it can cause gastric upset if eaten raw
This mushroom can grow in a variety of different locations including under pines, eucalypts and in grass away from trees, however it is more commonly found growing in the leaf litter of deciduous trees.
The scientific name which actually makes sense and they tend to be descriptors .
Lepista is derived from Latin and means a wine pitcher or a goblet.
nuda simply meaning naked.
This mushroom is very pretty has a pale purple underside. (See gills pic). The cap looks rubbery and smooth in appearance and if you give it a sniff it has a floral scent, others say it has tones of lavender and orange juice.
The Cap when newly emerged is lilac in colour, smooth and rubbery to touch and convex (rounded) in appearance. As the mushroom ages the colour tends to look a bit washed out changing colour to grey/brown with the cap becoming flattened to undulating in appearance .The cap can range in size from 3cm-15cm in diameter.
The Gills themselves are lilac/purple in appearance becoming light brown with age. The gills are crowded and slightly decurrent ( gills attaching to the stem).
The Stem is usually around 2cm-8cm long and 1cm-3cm wide, cylindrical in shape and non tapering as it rises to the cap however it can be swollen at the base.
The mushroom has a pith in the centre of the stem and as the mushroom ages which as with the rest of appearance changes from a light lilac to a grey in colour.
This mushroom is not for a novice as there are lookalikes to this mushroom with some the characteristics mentioned above including Cortinarius archerii (Edibility Unknown).