1. Identify Amethyst Deceiver Mushrooms

How to Identify the Amethyst  Deceiver mushroom

Edible

Scientific Name: Laccaria amethystina

Family: Hydnangiaceae

Habitat: 

This mushroom, common in temperate areas of Europe, Asia and the Americas’ grows in deciduous as well as coniferous forests. I find them mostly with beech or oak. It appears in late summer through to early winter.

Description: 

This is quite a changeable mushroom and can appear different depending on weather conditions. So care must be taken when dealing with older specimens as the colour may have faded.

Identifying Features:

Cap: Convex to flattened, sometimes even with upturned edges. Lilac/purple when young then fading to tan/brown

Stem: Tough fibrous, twisted and quite often hollow, same colour as the cap.

Gills: lilac/purple when young fading to tan/brown with age.

Smell: mild mushroom scent

Spores: White.

Uses: Can be used in a vast number of recipes, however, one of our favourites is simply fried quickly and stirred through white rice to give bright fleks of purple.

In food: 

It has a pleasant mushroom flavour so works well in any dish. It keeps it purple colour when cooked so livens up any dish. The stems are quite tough so I only collect the caps.

Harvesting:

Quite small but can be gathered in large numbers as they often appear in groups. The stems are quite tough and I personally only use the caps.

Known hazards:

While not toxic itself, in soils that are polluted with arsenic, it can accumulate a high concentration of that element.

Potential lookalikes:

The potentially deadly Inocybe geophylla lilacina, the lilac fibrecap, but this mushroom has off white to grey gills whereas the amethyst deceiver has the same colour gills as the cap and stem.

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