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Lilac Bonnet (Mycena pura) Identification

Lilac Bonnet / Summer / Autumn / Toxic

Scientific Name

Mycena pura


Common Names

Lilac Bonnet, Lilac Bell cap


Family

Mycenaceae


Habitat

They are saprotrophic, living off dead matter, they can be found deciduous and coniferous woods, very rarely they appear in grasslands.


Description 

A fairly common mushroom, they contain a small amount of muscarine so should be avoided.


Identifying Features:

Cap:

Bell shaped and then flattening out with a central raised umbo. They can be quite changeable. They are typically lilac in colour with a paler almost white edge. Up to 6cm across. They tend to turn up at their edges as they grow showing the pale gills.

James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem:

Thin, fibrous and quite often twisted. They are smooth and grey. Up to 8 cm long.

Jean-Pol GRANDMONT, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Gills:

The gills are white to grey, with a slight pink tinge. Adnate to slightly decurrent.

Adnexed / Adnate Gill

Smell:

A raddishy smell when they are damaged.


Spores:

White.


Known hazards

They contain the toxin muscarine although in small quantities, they should be avoided.


Potential lookalikes

They could be confused with other bonnet species for example the Common Bonnet (Mycena galericulata) but these have paler caps and have much more complex gills.

The Rosy Bonnet (Mycena rosea) also looks similar in fact some believe they are the same species. Rosea tends to be larger and is also toxic.


Extra Notes

This mushroom has bioluminescent properties and they emit a faint green light at night.

The name Mycena comes from the hats worn by the ancient Greek Mycenae people.

Pura comes from the Latin purun meaning pure or clean.


Resources

https://www.first-nature.com/fungi/mycena-pura.php

https://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/lilac-bonnet

https://www.woodlands.co.uk/blog/flora-and-fauna/novembers-fungi-focus-rosy-bonnet-mycena-rosea/

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