A “big blue pinkgill” (Entoloma bloxamii sensu lato), with pale lilac to greyish blue to brown colouration, with larger spores than other members of this clade. It also appears to be more robust or chunky than other potential lookalikes, but this is based on only a few collections. More collections with photographs of fresh fruitbodies are required to improve knowledge of its appearance and size in the field.
Description of the epitype collection:
Pileus (cap): 30-50 mm, conical then conico-convex, hardly expanding with age, with the margin bent downwards, rather pale greyish blue sometimes with slight brown tinge, losing its blue colour almost entirely with age, then pale greyish brown, smooth or very slightly innately fibrillose. Lamellae (gills): crowded, adnate-emarginate, white then pink with serrulate, concolorous edge. Stipe (stalk): 20-45 x 10-18 mm, clavate, almost white, with faint blue or bluish grey tinge, innately fibrillose, base white, sometimes with yellow tinges. Context (flesh) thick, white, smell and taste weak, slightly floury. Spores: 7.4-9.4(10.8) x 6.7-9.7 μm, average 8.2 8.3 μm, Q = 1.01.2, Qav = 1.01, isodiametric to subisodiametric, thin-walled, 7-10 angled in side-view. Basidia: (37)48-70(85) x 11-14.5 μm, clavate to oblong, clamped, 2- and 4-spored. Pileipellis ("skin" of cap): in the centre is an very gelatinous ixocutis made of narrow cylindrical hyphae ranging 20-74 x 25 μm; in the middle of the radius is an ixocutis but with transitions to an ixotrichoderm, made of narrow cylindrical hyphae ranging 25-113 x 3-9 μm; subpellis not differentiated.
Description adapted from Morgado, L. N., Noordeloos, M. E., Lamoureux, Y., & Geml, J. (2013). Multi-gene phylogenetic analyses reveal species limits, phylogeographic patterns, and evolutionary histories of key morphological traits in Entoloma (Agaricales, Basidiomycota). Persoonia: Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 31, 159.
Entoloma bloxamii is currently included as part of the Entoloma bloxamii complex in most record datasets. It was unofficially and provisionally red list assessed as Endangered in 1992 (Ing, 1992), but this assessment was revised in 2006 to Least Concern (annexed as a species of conservation interest in the UK and Europe; Evans et al. 2006). The splitting of the E. bloxamii complex into four (five?) segregate taxa is likely to considerably decrease the estimated population size in Britain. It currently comprises around 20% of reassessed members of this complex, which suggests that it may qualify for a Red List assessment of Vulnerable if future rederminations or new records follow the same trend.
Entoloma bloxamii is listed as a priority species for the conservation of biodiversity in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Entoloma bloxamii is likely to be highly vulnerable to nitrification, only occurring in "unimproved" grassland. Such habitats are highly threatened (and becoming more so) throughout the known range of the species.
Entoloma bloxamii is most likely to be confused with other members of the Entoloma bloxamii complex, but in most cases can be distinguished microscopically by its larger spores (although Entoloma sp. aff. bloxamii and one specimen of E. ochreoprunuloides f. hyacinthinum possessed similarly large spores). It has different colouration to other members of the E. bloxamii complex if seen in its lilac form, or if the other lookalikes are found in their typical colour forms.
Found in nitrogen poor grasslands and meadows.