Identify Violet Webcap

How to Identify Violet Webcap

Wild Mushroom – Not Edible 

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, 


Class: Agaricomycetes, 

Order: Agaricales,

Family: Cortinariaceae

Genus: Cortinarius  

Known Hazards 

Bitter taste, misidentification 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

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

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.