Amethyst Deceiver

Amethyst Deceiver ©northeastwildlife.co.uk

Amethyst deceiver

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Scientific name: Laccaria amethystina
The pretty-in-purple amethyst deceiver can be seen growing in the leaf litter of our woodlands during late summer and autumn. Although edible, it looks similar to the poisonous Lilac fibrecap.

Top facts

Stats

Cap diameter: 1-6cm
Stem height: 4-10cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

August to November

About

The amethyst deceiver can be seen growing in broadleaved and coniferous woodlands among the leaf litter. It is edible, but is similar in appearance to the poisonous Lilac fibrecap; indeed, never pick and eat fungi that can you cannot positively identify. Fungi belong to their own kingdom and get their nutrients and energy from organic matter, rather than photosynthesis like plants. It is often just the fruiting bodies, or 'mushrooms', that are visible to us, arising from an unseen network of tiny filaments called 'hyphae'. These fruiting bodies produce spores for reproduction, although fungi can also reproduce asexually by fragmentation.

What to look for

A fairly small toadstool, the amethyst deceiver is bright purple in colour. It has lilac flesh and the gills are attached to the stem, widely spaced and are deep purple. The stem is covered in tiny, white hairs.

Where to find

Widespread.

Did you know?

During dry spells, and as the amethyst deceiver gets older, its cap and stem become much paler in colour and can even turn white.