Mycologia 21(2): 103. 1929.
Common Name: none
Synonym: Lepiota pulcherrima Zeller
Cap 2-4 cm broad, convex, expanding to plano-convex; margin at first incurved, then decurved; surface dry, matted tomentose at the disc, elsewhere fibrillose to finely scaled; color: rose-vinaceous purple, pink purplish, darkest at disk, paler at the margin; context firm, thin, white, unchanging; odor when fresh, mild, when old, unpleasant; taste mild.
Gills free, close, white, unchanging.
Stipe 2-6.0 cm tall, 0.5-1.0 cm thick, stuffed, equal to tapering to enlarged, sometimes club-shaped base; surface pallid at the apex with patchy, flattened scales, tinged vinaceous-purple below from scattered appressed fibrils, unchanging when bruised; partial veil narrow, fibrillose-membranous, pallid on the upper surface, the lower surface and margin vinaceous-purple, forming a short, erect, superior annulus which may be sheathing above; stipe rooted in a dense white mycelium.
Spores 6.5-9 x 5-6.5 µm, elliptical, smooth, with a germ pore, dextrinoid; spore print whitish.
Solitary, scattered to clustered in parks, gardens, grassy areas and something in the woods; fruiting fall to early winter.
This attractive, diminutive Lepiota is distinctive with its vinaceous-purple, finely scaled cap and purple-tinged stipe. It can be fairly common in late winter under Monterey cypress, sometimes fruiting with two other Lepiotas, L. roseifolia and L. flammeatincta. These two species are distinguished by differently colored caps and color changes when bruised. In the case of Lepiota roseifolia, all parts redden when injured, while in Lepiota flammeatincta, only the gills remain white. Lepiota roseolivida is sometimes also confused with L. decorata, but is smaller, with a lilac-purple to dark purple disk and a rose-lilac to vinaceous purple margin over white background.
This species probably belongs in the genus Leucoagaricus, but the transfer has not been made.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Smith, H.V. (1966). Contributions toward a monograph on the genus Lepiota. I. Type studies in the genus Lepiota. Mycopathol. et Mycol. Appl. 29: 97-117.
Vellinga, E.C. (2006). Lepiotaceous fungi in California, U.S.A. – 3. Pink and lilac species in Leucoagaricus sect. Piloselli. Mycotaxon 98: 213-224.
Zeller, S.M. (1922). Contributions to Our Knowledge of Oregon Fungi: I. Mycologia 14(4): 173-199. (PDF)
Zeller, S.M. (1929). Contributions to Our Knowledge of Oregon Fungi: III. Mycologia 21(2): 97-111. (Protologue)