Amethyst Deceiver Facts
- Most notably, the uniquely pigmented Amethyst Deceiver is a type of mushroom with a confusing personality. That is because it actually changes colors as it ages.
- Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to identify, and it serves as the source of its common name.
- Further, in and of itself, this brilliantly colored fungus is indeed edible, though not especially palatable. However, it is often relatively toxic in practical terms. Confused?
- The Amethyst Deceiver is also extremely sensitive to naturally occurring arsenic. In any regions that this species develops in that happen to have arsenic in the soil, it will absorb the arsenic into itself.
- Finally, this fungus was first identified in 1778, by noted botanist William Hudson.
Amethyst Deceiver Physical Description
Firstly, the fungus is a moderate-sized mushroom species. The cap may be as much as 2.25 in (6 cm) in diameter. Typically, there is a small depression in the center. Also, in color, it appears an extremely bright purple.
In addition, it begins as a concave structure but flattens out with age. The stem is the same basic color as the cap but is often a slightly lighter shade of purple, closer to lilac. However, as it ages and loses moisture, both colors fade.
Further, in height, it averages about 2.75 in (7 cm). The interior flesh does not possess any distinctive scent or taste. Also, the majority of individual specimens display striations along the edges of the cap that display an even paler shade.
- Kingdom: Fungi
- Phylum: Basidiomycota
- Class: Agaricomycetes
- Order: Agaricales
- Family: Hydnangiaceae
- Genus: Laccaria
- Species: L. amethystina
Amethyst Deceiver Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The species also evolved as endemic to a wide geographical range including specific parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Within that range, however, it lives in both deciduous and coniferous forests.
It also primarily inhabits temperate zones within the same range. Further, most commonly (for reasons that remain a mystery), the species appears in the immediate vicinity of specific types of trees, such as either beech or oak trees.
As with all mushrooms, it reproduce via spores. Yet, the spores of the Amethyst Deceiver are relatively large in size. Finally, the fungus usually (again for mysterious reasons) appears either individually or in small numbers only in any single location.