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Cortinarius violaceus is one of the many violet-colored Cortinarius species. It has the deepest violet color which sometimes appear black and making it difficult to notice in woodland. Cortinarius violaceus is sometimes known as Violet Webcap, and can be found in North America, Europe, Central America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, it is found growing during autumn in deciduous woodland among oak, birch and beech, occasionally with conifers. In North America, it is quite common in Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park.
Cortinarius violaceus has a convex cap, 3.5-15 cm in diameter with an incurved margin. The cap is dark violet to blue-black with fine, downy scales. The stipe is bare, 6-12 cm tall and 1-2 cm thick, and a swollen, bulbuous base of 4 cm thick. The stipe is of same color as the cap, and is covered with woolly fibrils. The gills are dark violet, and changed to purplish-brown with age. The flesh is violet, but darker below the cap's cuticle and in the stem.
The flesh of Cortinarius violaceus has a mild taste, with a slight cedar-wood smell. Though it is edible, its primary appeal is not in the taste but more on its beauty.