Tricholoma columbetta

Blue Spot Knight

Status:

Uncommon

From the Greek meaning 'hairy fringe' - no idea why

Cap:

4-11cm

Stem:

3-9cm

Like a dove (white dove)

Description

This species is  quite an obvious one from a distance, usually found in small groups.  Younger specimens are white all over and more mature specimens begin to  get a green, violet or blue tinge in the cap and stem base, no present in younger ones. In the autumn one could easily confuse this species for being a very late  St George's Mushroom (Calocybe gambosa) as it is roughly the same size,  shape and colour, although if anything the Blue Spot Knight is more  white. Don't let the name fool you, the 'blue spots' can be difficult to  see and usually are only present in very mature specimens, younger  fresh ones do not seem to have this.

Smell

Not distinctive.

Season

Late Summer to Autumn.

Habitat & Distribution

With both decidious and coniferous tress but more frequently found with Oak (Quercus) and Beech (Fagus). Mainly found in southern Wales, the south and south-east England and northern Scotland where it is occasional, scattered records elsewhere where it is  probably uncommon.

Edibility

Whilst it is Edible and good, it is a bit tough and people new to the world of picking wild mushrooms to eat should steer clear of white gilled mushrooms as there are some seriously poisonous species with white gills.

Confusion Species

Spores 

5-7 x 3.5-5µ, oval.

Spore Print Colour

White.

St  George's Mushroom (Calocybe gambosa) looks very similar in size and shape but the Blue Spot Knight does not have a mealy smell and it more a  white colour than cream. 


The Giant Funnel (Leucopaxillus giganteus) is much larger, small specimens have decurrent gills which the Blue Spot Knight does not. 


A few of the white milkcaps (Lactarius) are a similar size and shape but obviously the Blue Spot Knight does not produce any 'milk' when damaged. 


If you are planning on eating this species then be aware of all the small white Clitocybes which some, including the Fools Funnel (Clitocybe dealbeta) are deadly poisonous, the Amanita family, which shares the same coloured gills also include some seriously poisonous species.

Tel. 07533 132 129 

Email. info@discoverthewild.co.uk

Manchester, Cheshire, Deeside & North Wales

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