Wood Blewit

Blewit, Blue-leg, Clitocybe nuda (old synonym)

Lepista nuda

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The wood blewit is a mushroom known for its appealing appearance and edibility, although some people can be sensitive to it. Recognizable by its lilac-colored cap, gills, and stem when young, the wood blewit has a broad distribution and is found in a variety of woodlands throughout its range.

Wood Blewit

Common Name
Wood Blewit

Other Names

Blewit, Blue-leg, Clitocybe nuda (old synonym)

Latin Name

Lepista nuda

Distribution

Wood blewits are found widely in North America and Europe. They occur naturally in woodland areas but can also be found in grassy areas, particularly where there is decaying plant material.

Appearance

The wood blewit is notable for its lilac to purple hue in its younger stages, though the color can fade as it matures. The gills are crowded and are the same lilac color, turning to brown as the spores mature. The stem may also exhibit a similar coloration but becomes more buff with age.

Size

The cap can range from 6 to 12 cm in diameter, while the stem can be between 5 to 10 cm tall.

Habitat

They predominantly grow in woodlands, particularly under conifers or hardwoods, but can also be found in grassy areas and gardens.

Diet

The wood blewit is saprotrophic, meaning it feeds by decomposing organic matter, primarily from decaying leaves and wood.

Lifecycle

It reproduces through spores, which are brown. Like other fungi, its lifecycle includes spore germination, mycelial growth, and the fruiting of the mushroom.

Defense Mechanisms

The lilac coloration of the wood blewit might be a form of camouflage, helping it blend into the fallen leaves and twigs of its woodland habitat. Additionally, while edible, the wood blewit can cause allergic reactions or upset stomachs in some people, acting as a potential deterrent against consumption.

Ecological Importance

As a decomposer, the wood blewit plays an essential role in nutrient cycling. It breaks down organic materials, returning vital nutrients to the soil and supporting the health of forest ecosystems.

Conservation Status

It’s relatively common in its distribution.
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