Cortinarius iodes

Cortinarius iodes (Berkeley & M.A. Curtis)

Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Cortinariaceae
Genus: Cortinarius
Species: iodes
Authority: Berkeley & M.A. Curtis
Collection #: PLP847_2018_211
Locale: Dansville, MI


Cortinarius Iodes panel

Figure 1: a) Top view showing the spotted appearance of the pileus. b) Side view showing the convex shape and viscous texture of the pileus. c) Habitat surrounding this collection. d) Gill spacing distant and attachment is to stipe. e) Brown spore print on white paper. f) Group of spores ranging in length between 8 and 10µm.

This colorful addition to the forest floor is mycorrhizally associated with oak trees. A couple of common names for this mushroom are the viscid violet cort and the spotted cort. As the term viscid might suggest, this mushroom has a slimy cap surface best seen after a gentle rain. Frequently the cap of this mushroom appears with light colored spots as it matures. There are two seemingly identical species, C. iodes and C. iodeoides which can be differentiated by spore size and a bitter cap slime. 

SpeciesSpore DimentionsBitter Cap Slime
C. iodes8-10 x 5-6µmNo
C. iodeoides7-8 x 4-5µmYes

This mushroom was described by Miles Joseph Berkeley and Moses Ashley Curtis in 1853. Charles Horton Peck later described Cortinarius heliotropicus, but it was later understood to be the same species as C. iodes


Binion, D. E., Burdsall Jr., H. H., Stephenson, S., Miller Jr., O., Roody, W., & Vasilyeva, L. (2008). Cortinariuis iodes. In D. E. Binion, H. H. Burdsall Jr., S. Stephenson, O. Miller Jr., W. Roody, & L. Vasilyeva, Macrofungi Associated With Oaks of Eastern North America (pp. 108-109). Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.

Kuo, M. (n.d.). Cortinarius iodes. Retrieved from MushroomExpert.Com:

Kuo, M., & Methven, A. S. (2014). Cortinarius iodeoides. In M. Kuo, & A. S. Methven, Mushrooms of the Midwest (p. 157). Urbana, Chicago, Springfield, Illinois: Univerity of Illinois Press.

Miller Jr., D. K., & Miller, H. H. (2006). Cortinarius iodes. In D. O. Miller Jr., & H. H. Miller, North American Mushrooms: A field Guide to Edible and Inedible Fungi (p. 320). Guilford, CT; Helena, MT.: Rowman & Littlefield.


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