Cortinarius flexipes

The pelargonium webcap, Cortinarius flexipes (Pers.) Fr.


Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Basidiomycota
Class Basidiomycetes
Order Agaricales
Family Cortinariaceae
Genus Cortinarius


Agaricus flexipes Pers.
  Syn. meth. fung. (Göttingen) 2: 275 (1801)
Cortinarius flexipes (Pers.) Fr.
  Epicr. syst. mycol. (Upsaliae): 300 (1838)
Cortinarius paleaceus sensu auct. p.p.
  fide Checklist of Basidiomycota of Great Britain and Ireland (2005)
Cortinarius paleiferus Svrček
  Česká Mykol. 22(4): 276 (1968)
Hydrocybe flexipes (Fr.) M.M. Moser
  in Gams 2: 168 (1953)

According to fungorum the current name is Cortinarius flexipes (Pers.) Fr. var flexipes.

Common names

Pelargonium webcap
Pixy webcap
Cortinaire à pied tortueux (French)
Bleicher Wasserkopf (German)
Pavucinovec ohybný (Slovak)
Topp-spindling (Swedish)


Cap: 1-4 cm diameter, conical or bell-shaped then expanded and umbonate, dark brown/purple when moist, especially at the centre, drying pale fawn to ochraceous, covered in white fibrils or tiny scales which are particularly dense at the margin in young specimens
Stem: 3-8 cm long x 0.3-0.7 cm diameter, equal or slightly thicker at base, often curved, brownish, covered at first with the white cottony veil which forms a distinct but temporary annulus and cottony scales below; hollow in age.
Gills: adnate, broad, crowded, dark brown often with violet tinge.
Flesh: brownish-lilac, thin.
Odor: like geranium (Pelargonium).
Spore print: reddish-brown.
Spores: ellipsoid, warted, 7-9 x 4-6 µm.
Habitat and distribution: on the ground in damp woods, often under deciduous trees, and in boggy heaths. Found in Europe and America.
Season: autumn. Uncommon.
Edibility: unknown, but best to avoid, due to prevalence of toxins in other Cortinarius species.

Medicinal properties

Anti-tumor effects

Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of C. flexipes and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 80% and 70%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).

The Truth About Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms are great. One of the few supplements I feel confident taking that actually has benefits. Most of the supplement industry is selling you on placebo, but I don't feel that's the case with medicinal mushrooms. HOWEVER; a large portion of the Mushroom Industry is corrupt. ​Come read this article if you want to find out the Dirty Secret in the Mushroom Industry and how to choose an Authentic Mushroom Supplement.


PilzePilze have some photo galleries.


Keizer P-J.
Pitfalls and traps: Cortinarius flexipes and Cortinarius sertipes.
Coolia. 1994 37(3):114-5.

Kuhner R.
Notes descriptives sur les agarics de France I. Cortinarius (suite), Telamonia et Hydrocybe.
[Descriptive notes on the agarics of France. I. Cortinarius, continued]
Bull Mens Soc Linn Lyon. 1961 30(3):50-65.

Lamoure D.
Critical survey of alpine Telamonia genus Cortinarius Fr. Agaricales 1. Some species smelling like Pelargonium.
Bulletin Mensuel de la Societe Linneenne de Lyon. 1991 60(5):152-6.

Ohtsuka S, Ueno S, Yoshikumi C, Hirose F, Ohmura Y, Wada T, Fujii T, Takahashi E.
Polysaccharides having an anticarcinogenic effect and a method of producing them from species of Basidiomycetes.
UK Patent 1331513, 26 September 1973.

Leave a Comment