Lepista multiformis (Romell) Gulden

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Agaricales - Family: Tricholomataceae

Lepista multiformis

Lepista mutiformis is a rare grassland mushroom which is all too easily mistaken for a Field Blewit Lepista saeva.

Distribution

This member of the Lepista genus is very rare in Britain but rather more common in alpine regions of Europe and in Scandinavia. (The specimens shown here were found in coastal grassland at Ynyslas - Dyfi National Nature Reserve - in West Wales in October 2011.)

Lepista multiformis

Taxonomic history

Originally described in 1911 by the Swedish mycologist Lars Romell (1854 - 1927), who gave it the binomial scientific name Tricholoma multiforme, this grassland mushroom was transferred to the genus Lepista in 1983 by Norwegian mycologist Gro Sissel Gulden (b. 1939), whereupon its scientific name became Lepista multiformis.

Tricholoma multiforme Romell is a synonym of Lepista multiformis.

Etymology

Lepista comes from Latin and means a wine pitcher or a goblet, and when fully mature the caps of Lepista species do usually become concave (sometimes referred to as being infundibuliform) like shallow chalices or goblets. Rather as it sounds, the specific epithet mutiformis simply means 'of many shapes or forms'.

Identification guide

Cap of Lepista multiformis

Cap

4 to 12cm across, convex and later depressed often with a wavy margin; smooth all over or smooth with a slightly fibrilose region close to the margin; vinaceous brown to liver brown when wet, drying to a more pinkish brown or yellowish brown.

Gills and stem of Lepista multiformis

Gills

Decurrent, crowded, whitish when very young, soon becoming pinkish brown when mature; often with reddish gill edges.

Stem

3.5 to 10cm long and 5 to 20mm diameter; fibrillose; tawny, but somewhat paler than the cap; no ring.

 

Spores

Ellipsoidal, faintly warty, 6 -7.5 x 3.5-5μm.

Spore print

Pale pink to pale clay.

Odour/taste

Slightly aromatic odour; pleasant, mild taste.

Habitat & Ecological role

In small tufts more often than singly, in all kinds of grassland including leaf-litter-rich roadside verges and other disturbed, grassy areas; sometimes producing fairy rings in lawns and parks.

Season

August to October in Britain.

Similar species

The Tawny Funnel Lepista flaccida occurs in woodland habitats.

The Field Blewit Lepista saeva has a purple-flushed stem and usually a paler cap; it is also a grassland mushroom.

Culinary Notes

Lepista multiformis is reportedly edible, but because of its scarcity in Britain it should not be collected.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

Christensen, M. & Gulden, G. (2008). Lepista. – In: Knudsen, H. & Vesterholt, J. (eds.): Funga Nordica, 403, 405-409

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

Top of page...


Fascinated by Fungi, 2nd edn, hardback

If you have found this information helpful, we are sure you would also find our book Fascinated by Fungi by Pat O'Reilly very useful. Author-signed hardback copies at a special discount price are available here...

Other nature books from First Nature...