Rare Purple Mushroom Found In Arizona For The First Time
By Ginny Reese
April 22, 2022
A senior at the University of Arizona was foraging with some friends in the Santa Catalina Mountains when she discovered the small purple mushroom under a log.
The student, Caitlin Dowd, later found that no one had ever seen this mushroom in Arizona before. At least, no one had ever submitted it to a DNA sequence database. Dowd found that the mushroom appeared to be an Entoloma occidentale variety metallicum.
Betsy Arnold, the curator of the Robert L. Gilbertson Mycological Herbarium at the University of Arizona and professor in the School of Plant Science, said, "It's a super beautiful purple mushroom. It's as beautiful as, like, a delicate wildflower."
According to a species fact sheet, this kind of mushroom is rare. The fact sheet reads, "Entoloma occidentale is rare. It belongs to a group of colorful fungi that are often picked up but are seldom properly identified."
Dowd's discovery is now helping scientists to better understand the species. Arnold said, "Who knows; this may end up being multiple species int he future, once people do more work."
Check out the beautiful mushroom below: