Stem: the base of the stem is often covered in white furry down, so when picking the mushroom to identify ensure you pick it from the base. The stem is usually paler with hints of the cap colour..
Flesh: whitish but often tinged buff coloured too. The taste and smell is of aniseed which in certain specimens can be very strong and weaker in others.
Overall: a distinctive blue-green colour with a smell of aniseed. The smell can be very strong or very weak in certain specimens but if you plan to use this species for cooking then only use strongly smelling specimens as these are best for drying and grinding which is the best thing to do with these mushrooms.
Cap: begins rounded and becomes flatter with a slight raised centre as it matures, becoming more upturned and 'funnel-shaped' as it matures. The colour can be strongly blue-green but can fade and become a duller dirty brown/beige colour.
OVERALL: an iconic species which once seen and smelt is easy to remember. Never numerous, we often find a small number of specimens growing together but never lots. The blue-green colour and strong smell of aniseed should immediately point you to this species, the smell however can vary, strong in certain specimens and very weak, almost absent in others. If you are planning to eat this species it is recommended that you dry the mushroom and powder it and use it more as a spice than just eating them whole. For this reason only pick strongly smelling specimens.
HABITAT: found amongst leaf litter of decidous trees, most commonly Beech (Fagus).
DISTRIBUTION: Occasional in the north and Common in the south. Found over the entire UK.
SEASON: summer to late autumn, we have found it from June to November.
SPORE PRINT: white.
EDIBILITY: 2/5, whilst its strong aniseed smell is alluring we never find enough of them to dry and make in to powder and use as a spice, our local patches only yield a small number of fruiting bodies. For the aniseed flavour we would rather use some local plants.
EASE OF IDENTIFICATION: Easy to identify, fresh specimens have a strong blue-gren colour and aniseed smell.
SMELL: Can be strongly of aniseed but sometimes it is faint and sometimes not at all present, depening on the age and quality of the specimen. If using for eating then ensure it is strongly of aniseed or it is not worth it.
SIMILAR SPECIES: you must be aware of wrongly picking any of the poisonous Clitocybes if you are intending on using the species for cooking. The strong blue-green colour and aniseed smell should be enough to not confuse it with other species, leave worn or faded Aniseed Funnels alone if eating as they could be confused with other species. The Ivory Funnel (Clitocybe dealbata) is white in colour and has a mealy not aniseed smell, it is also found more often in grassland habitat.
OLDER ENGLISH NAMES: Aniseed Toadstool, Aniseed Agaric, Blue-green Clitocybe.
SYNOYNMS: Agaricus odorus Bull. Clitocybe odora var. alba J.E. Lange. Clitocybe virens (Scop.) Sacc. Agaricus trogii Fr. Agaricus virens Scop. Clitocybe trogii (Fr.) Sacc. Agaricus suaveolens sensu Fries (1821). Gymnopus odorus (Bull.) Gray
Gills: whitish to buffish and sometimes with a slight hint of the cap colour. Decurrent, but not as strongly as other species in the same family, the impression still gives the 'funnel' shape however.
meaning depressed or sloping head