Cortinarius gentilis (Deadly Cort)

Description: Deep orange-brown cap and stalk with remnants of yellow veil; under conifers.

Cap: 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide; conical, becoming bell-shaped to broadly knobbed; moist, smooth, orange- to yellow-brown, fading.

Gills: attached, almost distant, broad, yellowish-brown, becoming rust.

Stalk: 1-3" (2.5-7.5 cm) long, 1/8-1/4" (3-5 mm) thick; yellow- to orange-brown.

Veils: universal veil yellow, evanescent. Partial veil cobwebby, brigh yellow, leaving faint zone on stalk.

Spores: 7-9 X 5.5-7 m; oval, minutely roughened, brownish. Spore print rust.

Edibility: Deadly.

Season: July-August in rocky Mountains; September-October in North.

Habitat: Abundant, under conifers.

Range: Widespread in N. North America.

Comments: Also ironically known as the "Gentle Cort". In Europe this mushroom is reported to contain deadly toxins; it is related to species such as the Poznan Cort C. orellanus that are known to have caused fatalities. Consequently, the mushroom hunter is warned not to eat any "LBMs", or little brown mushrooms. Eating this mushroom and closely related species typically involves life-threatening kidney failure, symptoms usually do not appear until 3 days to 2 weeks after ingestion.

Cortinarius gentilis image and excerpt from Gary H. Lincoff's National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, (1981/2004, pp. 615-616 , image #298).

Cortinarius gentilis (Deadly Cort)