Cortinarius is the largest genus of mushrooms in the world. Cortinarius archeri is a spectacular species.
The most distinctive feature of Cortinarius is the presence of a cortina covering young gills. A cortina is a partial veil consisting of a cobweb-like protective covering over the spore producing surface. The cortina disintegrates as the fruit body matures, leaving a ring-zone on the stem, or disappearing altogether. In some species, all evidence of the cortina disappears very quickly.
A secondary feature of Cortinarius is a rusty-brown spore print, therefore the fertile surface of mature Cortinarius are rusty brown.
|A beautiful cluster of Cortinarius archeri|
Cap: when young, the cap can cover the stem resembling a helmet, but widens to convex, eventually flattening to some degree, often turning under slightly. At first, the cap is viscid (slippery), but matures to dry and satiny, fading to a dirty mauve, often aging to brown. The cap can reach 100mm wide.
Stem: is broad, viscid when young, mauve to white with membranous remains of cortina high on stem, often stained rusty brown with spores. The wide stem is usually bulbous at the base.
Gills: are of various lengths, mauve when young, staining rusty brown as spores mature.
Habitat: mixed forests of Australia (and possibly other countries), on soil, and is mychorrizal with eucalypts. Cortinarius archeri grows singly or in small tight clusters.
Toxicity: some species of Cortinarius are poisonous, containing the toxin orellanine, so it is unwise to consume any species of Cortinarius. At this time, I have no information either confirming or denying the toxicity of Cortinarius archeri.
|Cortinarius archeri emerging from the soil - my thumbnail gives size comparison|
|A cluster of Cortinarius archeri like little soldiers lined up in their tin hats|
|The cobweb-like covering still intact covering the immature gills|
|Young mauve gills tinged with rusty-brown - remains of membranous material high on the stem has collected rusty-brown spores|
|Gills turn brown as they mature. They will turn much darker yet.|
|A beautiful specimen of Cortinarius archeri|
My sightings of Cortinarius archeri
[This will be updated with new sightings]
Freeman's Waterhole, NSW - mixed forest May 2011