Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 24: 140. 1897.
Common Name: none
Synonym: Lepista tarda (Peck) Murrill; Clitocybe sordida (Fries: Fries) Singer
Cap 2-6 cm broad, convex, expanding to nearly plane, in age often shallowly depressed, with an inconspicuous umbo; margin at first incurved, then decurved, eventually plane to slightly upturned, wavy to lobed, not striate, or if so obscurely; surface glabrous, moist, somewhat waxy in aspect, hygrophanous; color when fresh, medium brown, occasionally tinged lilac, darkest at the disc, shading to a paler margin, in age tan-buff overall; context whitish to pale-buff, soft, thin, 1-4 mm thick, odor indistinct, taste, like that of Agaricus bisporus.
Gills adnate, adnexed to subdecurrent, close, moderately broad, whitish, tinged pink when young, becoming pinkish-buff; lamellulae 1-3 seried.
Stipe 1.5-5.0 cm long, 3-7 mm thick, broadest at the apex, tapering to a narrowed base, straight, stuffed at maturity; surface faintly striate from appressed fibrils, colored dingy, light-brown; veil absent.
Spores 5.5-8.0 x 3.5-4 µm, elliptical, thin-walled, roughened, nonamyloid; spore print pinkish-buff.
Forming arcs and fairy-rings in grassy areas; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter.
Edible, of good flavor, but little texture.
This slender relative of the blewit, Clitocybe nuda, often lacks the lilac color of its more common cousin but kinship can be seen in the wavy-margined cap and pinkish, warted spores. Some species of Melanolueca are similar in stature, i.e. have a thin stipe and nearly plane, slightly umbonate cap, but these can be distinguished by whitish to cream-colored spores. Less likely to be confused is the Fairy-Ring mushroom, Marasmius oreades. Although it also grows in grass, it has a much lighter, cream to pale tan cap, well-spaced gills, and white spores.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Gregory, D. (2007). The genus Clitocybe of California. Masters Thesis. San Francisco State University.
Bigelow, H.E. (1982). North American Species of Clitocybe. Part I. J. Cramer: Vaduz, Liechtenstein. 280 p.
Peck, C.H. (1897). New species of fungi. Bull. Torrey bot. Club 24(3): 137-147. (Protologue)