Lepista sordida – Sordid blewits

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Sordid Blewits (Lepista sordida) are edible mushrooms that can be found in northern temperate zones.
Sordid blewits are saprobic, feeding on decomposing organic material including leaf litter, wood chips, and compost. They fruit June-November. The mushrooms will often be found in fairy rings. They can also grow in clusters.
Sordid blewits have purplish flesh when young. The flesh turns brownish as the mushroom matures. The cap is initially convex. It flattens and develops a central depression with maturity. The mushrooms have a slightly sweet scent. Spore print is creamy-white to pale pink.
Sordid blewits must be well cooked before consumption. Raw consumption will cause GI symptoms in some people. The mushroom has a mild, slightly sweet, mushroom flavor. Try a small amount at first, as Sordid blewits disagree with some people.
Sordid blewits have been used in Chinese medicine as an anti-tumor, anti-aging, and immunomodulatory mushroom.
Sordid blewits closely resemble Wood blewits (Lepista nuda), which are also edible. Wood blewits are more robust, with a thicker cap and stem. Sordid blewits are more slender and are more likely to grow in clusters.
Sordid blewits must also be differentiated from Violet webcaps (Cortinarius violaceus), which should not be consumed. Violet webcaps have a sturdier stem, rusty brown spore print, and often have remnants of web on their stem.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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