Violet Webcap (Cortinarius violaceus)

Violet Webcap / Summer / Autumn / Inedible

Enter the realm of caution as we unveil the hidden dangers of the Violet Webcap (Cortinarius violaceus), a mushroom that demands respect for its inedibility and potential toxicity, it is referenced as edible at some sources but is worth serious caution due to serious toxic lookalikes in the cortinarius family.

Join us on a journey of awareness and safety as we delve into the risks associated with this fungus. With its striking violet cap and delicate web-like veil, the Violet Webcap may intrigue the curious eye.

However, it is crucial to recognize that consuming the Violet Webcap can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress and other adverse health effects.

Learn to identify its distinctive features, explore its preferred habitats, and understand the potential dangers it possesses. Knowledge and vigilance are paramount in avoiding the risks associated with this mushroom. Let this serve as a reminder of the importance of accurate identification, responsible foraging practices, and prioritizing personal safety.

Respect the perils that nature presents and navigate the world of mushrooms with informed caution. Stay vigilant, for the Violet Webcap stands as a stark reminder of the hidden dangers that can lurk within the natural world.

Common Names

Violet Webcap

Botanical Name

Cortinarius violaceus

Meaning of Botanical Name

Cortinarius refers to the cortina or the web-like threads that join the cap to the stem when young, violaceus referring to the violet colour of these mushrooms. 

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Fungi, 

Division: Basidiomycota,

Class: Agaricomycetes, 

Order: Agaricales,

Family: Cortinariaceae

Genus: Cortinarius  

Known Hazards

Bitter taste, easily confuses with other purple Cortinarius which are deadly toxic.

Could be confused with

Wood blewit, other violet coloured webcap mushrooms

Food Of

Insect larvae.

Range and Distribution

Rare throughout Britain and Ireland Also found Europe, North America and Aisa.


Deciduous woodland especially on alkaline soils

Physical Characteristics of the Violet Webcap


When young this mushroom has a deep purple cap, developing an umbo (lump) in the centre with age, the edge of the cap is enrolled.


The gills are also purple becoming rusty brown with spore deposits with age, they’re widely spaced and adnate.



The Stem is purple and fibrous with a club shaped base


The spores are almond shaped and rusty brown, often you will see spore buildup on any remaining cortina on the stem. 

Edible Uses of the Violet Webcap

This mushroom is classed as edible, but due to the nature of this family being very difficult to identify between the species and the deadly toxic nature of the look alikes we don’t recommend eating this mushroom, unless under the guidance of a trained mycologist who’s done microscopic investigation on the spores of every specimen you plan to consume.

More information on the toxicity of other Cortinarius species

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