Spring webcap (Cortinarius vernus)
- Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
- Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
- Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
- Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
- Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
- Family: Cortinariaceae (Spiderwebs)
- Genus: Cortinarius (Webcap)
- Subgenus: Telamonia
- Species: Cortinarius vernus (Spring webcap)
A hat with a diameter of 2-6 (up to 8) cm, bell-shaped in youth, then prostrate with a lowered edge and a (usually pointed) tubercle, then flat-prostrate with a wavy edge and a slightly pronounced tubercle (it does not always live up to this type). The edges of the cap are smooth or wavy, often torn. The color is brown, dark brown, dark red-brown, black-brown, there may be a slightly purple tint, it may be lighter towards the edges, with a gray tint, it may be with a gray rim along the edge. The surface of the cap is smooth, radially fibrous, silky fibers, not always pronounced. Cobweb cover, light, breaks very early. The remains of the veil on the stem are light, or reddish, not always noticeable.
The flesh is brownish-whitish, brownish-grayish, lilac tint at the base of the leg, various sources consider it to be from thin to rather thick, in general, average, like all telamonias. The smell and taste are not pronounced, according to various opinions, from flour to sweetish. The plates are not frequent, from adherent to the tooth and to slightly descending, ocher-brown, gray-brown, with a slight lilac shade or without, uneven, sinuous. After maturation, the spores are rusty brown.
Spore powder, rusty-brown. The spores are almost spherical, slightly elliptical, strongly warty, prickly, 7-9 x 5-7 μm, not amyloid. The leg is 3-10 (up to 13) cm high, 0.3-1 cm in diameter, cylindrical, below it can be slightly clavate, brownish, grayish, longitudinally fibrous, silky fibers, possibly redness below.
Inhabits broad-leaved, spruce and mixed (with broad-leaved trees, or spruce) forests, parks, fallen leaves or needles, moss, grass, glades, roads, paths, from April to June.
Bright red webcap (Cortinarius erythrinus) – Some sources (British) consider it even synonymous with spring webcap, but at the moment (2017) this is not a generally accepted opinion. The view, indeed, is very similar in appearance, the only difference is in red, purple tones in the plates, there is nothing red in the spring cobweb, except for the possible reddening of the base of the leg. Burnt webcap (Cortinarius uraceus) – The same British sources consider it a synonym, but this is also, for now, just their opinion. The leg of this spider web is dark brown, turns black with age. This species is a mycorrhizal forming agent and does not occur in the absence of trees. Chestnut webcap (Cortinarius castaneus) – A similar species, but grows in late summer and autumn, does not overlap with spring in time.
It is considered inedible. But no data on toxicity could be found.