The uniquely pigmented Amethyst Deceiver is a type of mushroom with a confusing personality. It actually changes colors as it ages which can sometimes make it difficult to identify, and which serves as the source of its common name.
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 extremely sensitive to naturally occurring arsenic. In any regions that this species develops in that happen to have arsenic in the soil, it will (more like a sponge than a mushroom) absorb the arsenic into itself.
This fungus was first identified in 1778, by noted botanist William Hudson.
Amethyst Deceiver Physical Description
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. In color, they are an extremely bright purple.
Additionally, 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.
In height, they average 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.
Amethyst Deceiver Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
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, they reproduce via spores. The spores of the Amethyst Deceiver are relatively large in size. The fungus usually (again for mysterious reasons) appears either individually or in small numbers only in any single location.