Described by A.H. Smith (1939) from a collection made at
Olympic Hot Springs, in Olympic National Park,
Washington in 1935.
A medium-sized to large mushroom distinguished by its ‘cool’ violet to lilac cap that fades in age, pale lilac gills, an abruptly bulbous stipe, relatively stout stature, and a bright rosy-pink KOH reaction on the cap. Uncommon to rare; appears to be restricted to mature and old growth conifer forests.
Known from southern British Columbia, Canada, south through the Cascade and Olympic Mountains in the Pacific Northwest, less common in the Coast Ranges, and coastal locations, east to the northern Rocky Mountains in Idaho, south to scattered locations in the Klamath Ranges and a single site in the Sierra Nevada in California, USA.
Widespread in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California; currently known from 50+ populations. Population decline is unknown. Most collections come from mature and old growth forests, which is in decline.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Ectomycorrhizal with conifers; either restricted to, or with a preference for mature and old growth forests. Solitary or scattered, growing from soil or duff, often in small patches. More commonly in Cascade forests, occasional in coastal or coast range forest in the Pacific Northwest.
(All threats are based on informed conjecture, since little is known about this species’ life history and ecology). Logging and machine clearing of understory vegetation should be limited in mature (or old growth forest) in areas where this species is likely to occur. Fire is a threat, since stand replacing fires could severely diminish the extent of suitable habitat.
Habitat limitations should be defined for this species, as it may be restricted to mature and old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest.
Castellano, M., J.E. Smith, T. O’Dell, E. Cázares & S. Nugent. 1999. Handbook to Strategy 1 Fungal Species in the Northwest Forest Plan. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-476. United States Department of Agriculture.
Smith, A.H. 1939. Studies in the Genus Cortinarius. I. Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium. 2:5-42