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"Beware of those brown clitocybes! -- a new poisonous mushroom in Europe" [Stijve. 2001. Field
Mycology 2(3):77-79; color photos]. -- Tjakko Stijve's warning to Europeans about the newly discovered
toxicity of Clitocybe amoenolens, originally described from Morocco, carries with it an alert to North
Americans as well. Stijve reports that two victims suffered itching fingers and toes and benumbed hands and
feet for two weeks and three others (hospitalized after classic painkillers proved ineffective) felt violent pains
in their swollen extremities. Ingesting the Asian "bamboo mushroom" (Clitocybe acromelalga) results in
violent pain and red fingers and toes for 4-5 weeks, symptoms sometimes accompanied by joint tissue
disorders. "... The pains are often so bad that the victim is crying out while rolling over on the ground!
Sedatives are not effective; the pain can only be mitigated by placing the hands and feet in running water.
Some soothing is achieved by drawing blood from the extremities, and by injecting adenosin triphosphate."
Among North American mushrooms that might contain similar toxins Stijve lists Clitocybes gibba, costata,
squamulosa, sinopica, ectypoides, americana and Lepistas gilva, ameliae, inversa, and flaccida. -----------------------------------------------------
On the positive side, Clitocybe is not a genus noted for its edibles (or active species). So there should be little reason for most people to consider eating them. Many Clitocybes are poisonous - they often contain muscarine. It's not a genus one should experiment in very much.
Lepista is a genus used my some mycologists for Clitocybes with pinkish spore prints.
The only mushroom commonly eaten (in North America) that is closely related to these mushrooms is the Blewit (Clitocybe nuda = Lepista nuda). The overall purplish color and pinkish tan spore print color are sufficient to distinguish it from any of the dangerous Clitocybe or Lepista species.