Crimson webcap: photo and description

The crimson webcap (Cortinarius purpurascens) is a large lamellar mushroom belonging to the extensive family and genus of Webcaps. For the first time the genus was classified at the beginning of the 19th century by E. Fries. In the middle of the 20th century, changes were made to the adopted system by Moser and Singer, and this classification is relevant to this day. Mushrooms of the Spiderweb family love damp, swampy lowlands, which is why they received the popular nickname "pribolotnik".

What does a crimson webcap look like?

The crimson webcap is very attractive in appearance. The belonging of young specimens is easy to determine by the presence of a blanket that tightly covers the plates. But only a very experienced mushroom picker or a mycologist can distinguish old mushrooms.

Like other mushrooms of the family, the crimson webcap got its name because of its peculiar cover. It is not filmy, like in other fruiting bodies, but veil-like, as if woven by spiders, connecting the edges of the cap with the base of the leg.

Description of the hat

The crimson webcap has a fleshy even cap. In young fruiting bodies, it is conical-spherical, with a rounded apex. As the hat grows, it straightens out, breaking the threads of the bedspread. At first it becomes spherical, and then outstretched, like an umbrella, with edges slightly curling inward. The diameter ranges from 3 to 13 cm.Extra large specimens can reach 17 cm.

The color palette is very extensive: silver-brown, olive-gray, reddish, light brown, nutty-spotted, deep burgundy. The top is usually slightly darker, uneven in color, with specks and stripes. The surface is slimy, shiny, slightly sticky, especially after rain. The pulp is highly fibrous, rubbery. Has a bluish gray tint.

The plates are neat, adherent to the leg. Frequently arranged, even, without serrations. Initially, they have a silvery-purple or light purple hue, gradually darkening to a reddish-brown or brownish color. Spores are almond-shaped, warty, rusty-brown in color.

Attention! When viewed from above, the crimson cobweb is easily confused with some types of boletus or boletus.

Leg description

The crimson webcap has a fleshy, strong leg. In a young mushroom, it is thickened-barrel-shaped, stretching as it grows, acquiring even cylindrical outlines with a thickening at the root. The surface is smooth, with barely visible longitudinal fibers. The color can be varied: from deep lilac and purple, to silvery violet and light reddish. Fluffy reddish-rusty remains of the bedspread are clearly visible. There is also a white velvety bloom.

The consistency of the spider web is dense, fibrous. The leg diameter is 1.5 to 3 cm and the length is 4 to 15 cm.

Where and how it grows

The crimson webcap grows in small groups, 2-4 closely spaced specimens, singly. It is not common, but it is found everywhere in the temperate climatic zone. In Russia, its habitat is vast - from Kamchatka to the western border, excluding the permafrost zone, and to the southern regions. It is also taken on the territory of neighboring Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Quite often found in Europe: Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia. You can see him overseas, in the northern United States and in Canada.

The mycelium begins to bear fruit in the fall, from the twenties of August to the beginning of October. The crimson webcap loves damp places - swamps, ravines, ravines. It is not picky about the composition of the soil, it grows both in purely coniferous or deciduous, and in mixed forests.

Is the mushroom edible or not

The crimson webcap belongs to the category of inedible mushrooms. There are no exact data on poisonous or toxic substances in its composition, no cases of poisoning have been registered. The pulp has a sweetish mushroom smell, fibrous and completely tasteless. Due to the low taste and specific consistency of nutritional value, the fruit body does not.

Attention! Most spider webs are poisonous, contain delayed-action toxins that appear only after 1-2 weeks, when the treatment will no longer be effective.

Doubles and their differences

The crimson webcap is very similar to some representatives of its own species, as well as the entolom species. Due to the similarity of external signs with deadly poisonous twins, it is not recommended to collect and eat cobwebs. Often, even experienced mushroom pickers are not able to accurately identify the species of the specimen found.

The webcap is watery blue. Edible. Differs in a rich bluish-ocher shade of the cap and a lighter, strongly pubescent leg. The pulp has an unpleasant odor.

Thick-fleshy webcap (Fatty). The main difference is the gray-yellowish color of the leg and the grayish flesh, which does not change color when pressed.

The webcap is white and purple. Inedible. Differs in the shape of a cap with a distinct outgrowth in the center, smaller size and a longer stem. Has a delicate silvery-lilac shade over the entire surface. The plates are dirty brown.

The webcap is abnormal. The color of the cap is grayish-brown, it turns red with age. The stem is light gray or reddish-sandy, with distinct remnants of the bedspread.

The webcap is camphor. It has an extremely unpleasant smell, reminiscent of rotten potatoes. Color - soft violet, even. The plates are dirty brown.

Goat webcap (traganus, smelly). Inedible, toxic. The color of the cap and legs is pale purple with a silvery tint. It is distinguished by the rusty color of the plates in an adult fungus and a rich unpleasant odor, which intensifies during heat treatment.

The cap is ringed. Edible, has excellent taste. Differs in a light leg and white-cream plates. The pulp does not change color when pressed.

Entoloma is poisonous. Deadly dangerous. The main difference is the creamy gray plates and the gray-brown stem. The cap can be bluish, light gray, or brown. The pulp is white, dense, with an unpleasant, rancid-mealy odor.

Entoloma is brightly colored. Non-toxic, it is considered a conditionally edible mushroom. Collecting it is not recommended, since it is easily confused with similar poisonous species. It differs in a bluish color over the entire surface, the same pulp and smaller size - 2-4 cm.


The crimson webcap is a representative of the extensive webcap family, it is quite rare. Its habitat is Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Russia, the Near and Far East. Loves moist areas of deciduous and coniferous forests, where it grows singly or in small groups. Due to its low nutritional qualities, it is classified as an inedible mushroom. It has poisonous counterparts, so you should treat it with caution. The crimson webcap can be distinguished from similar twins due to the property of the pulp to change its color from gray-blue to purple when pressed or cut.

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