T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Cortinarius genus (Webcaps)

Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Cortinariaceae
Genus: Cortinarius
Species: about 2000 species worldwide
Common names: Cortinar, Webcap

Cortinarius is the largest genus of mushrooms in the world, containing over 2000 different species. They are found worldwide. Mushrooms in this genus are amongst the most common and are the prominent seen in New Zealand's beech forests in the autumn. Over 115 species have been described from New Zealand.

All mushrooms in this genus are terrestrial form mycorrhizae which is a symbiotic association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular host plant. They are only found in association with trees.  
Cortinarius mushroom’s cap is usually a rusty brown colour. 
When young they have cortinas covering their gills. Cortina is a form of partial veil consisting of a cobweb-like protective covering over the immature spore-bearing surfaces. Cortinas on some species just disappear; others collapse against the stem forming a ring zone. The gills are usually brown and the spores are a rusty brown.

Due to the serious dangerous toxicity of several species (such as Cortinarius orellanus) and the fact that it's difficult to distinguish between various species of the genus, non-expert consumption of mushrooms from this genus is discouraged.


Gills of an old mushroom.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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