NotesCortinarius is a large, morphologically divergent genus of ectomycorrhizal species. Species in this genus are amongst the most common and prominent mushrooms seen in New Zealand's beech forests in the autumn.
Cortinarius sensu lato has been variously divided into a number of smaller genera over the years. These genera have been based on differences in morphology such as a glutinous cap (Phlegmacium), a glutinous stipe and cap (Myxacium), bright pigments (Dermocybe), or a secotioid habit (Thaxterogaster).Molecular studies have shown that all such features have evolved several times independently amongst the cortinarioid fungi, an
progressively these segregate genera are being incorporated back into Cortinarius. Few molecular studies have yet incorporated New Zealand material, and for now many of our species remain in the segregate genera.
Although such a taxonomic approach is neccessary, it makes this biodiverse genus very difficult to handle.
Over 115 species have been described from New Zealand. Only those listed below have descriptions or images available from NZFungi.