Mushrooms never cease to amaze us. Laccaria amethystin, or amethyst deceiver, is no exception. They can be found in broadleaved and coniferous woodlands among the leaf litter in the Pacific Northwest between late summer and autumn. The caps of this striking purple mushroom are 0.5 to 3 inches (2 to 7 centimeters), start curved and become flatter as they age. Although you may think you would never miss this violet fungus, as they mature they become dry and white. The tough stems have tiny white hairs and are often twisted or bent and the gills are thick and widely spaced.
Although the amethyst deceiver is edible, never consume a mushroom unless you are 100% sure of its species. Many have subtle differences and lookalikes that may be fatal if ingested. Poisonous species, like Mycena pura (lilac bonnet) and Inocybe geophylla (lilac fibrecap), are also purple, so pay attention to differences in gill spacing, shades of the stem, and the smell to tell the difference.