What do Blewit Look Like?
With access to a variety of garden and forest organics, you can grow and appreciate these late season fruiters.
The best thing about Blewits is their unusual color, ranging from a pinky tan to a gentian blue.
There is a poisonous look-alike (cortinarius sp) that is also blue, but it has a cobwebby veil and
rusty spore print. There is a big range of color in the mushrooms with fruiting temperature and
stage of development but they tend to have the richest blues later in the fall in cooler, wet
weather. Because of their color variability, its best to know the ID keys: lavender gills fading to
pinkish, cap often a smooth, blue to tan, no partial veil, Spores buff to pink, often swollen at the
base of the stem (Figure 1).
How to make a Blewit Bed
You can plant Blewits in the fall or spring. We like to lay chunks of sawdust spawn in grids
directly on the garden or forest floor, covered with thin layers of whatever organic material we
have on hand (Figure 2). Blewits are saprobic, meaning they thrive in decomposing decaying organic
matter. Blewits seem to best like layers of organic materials: piles of grass clippings, layers of
straw mulch, pine needles, sawdust, wood chips and bark pieces left over from making wood for
your wood stove.
We have several successful inoculation strategies for different backyard environments. Blewit
are fun to play with and can surprise you with a patch of mushrooms or individuals scattered
throughout the bed.
Blewit Mushrooms in the Garden
Our best garden strategy is to inoculate in heavily mulched areas that will receive
plenty of moisture and plant shade as part of the garden maintenance. Our best results thus far
have been in compost enriched soils planted with pumpkin and squash (heavy feeders and well
fertilized) and thickly mulched with straw (Figure 3).
Blewit Mushrooms in the Orchard:
Thick layer of compost under trees, inoculated and mulched with wood chips under trees.
Especially successful using ramial wood chips from spring pruning as a mulch. Blewits seem to
like high nitrogen environments that contribute to bioactive soils.
Blewit Mushrooms in the Forest:
Inoculated in the fall after picking up firewood cut and stacked. Inoculated big chunks of
sawdust spawn into the sawdust and bark duff released from the aging wood (Figure 4).
Grid planted and layered with wood chips, pine needles and enriched
with a thin layer of alfalfa hay or grass clippings.
How to Rejuvenate a Blewit Bed
The best way to make a new bed year after year (alternative to spawn purchase), is to find
clumps of myceliated organic material in the blewit bed. Fall is a great time for mycelium
expansion for the blewit. These clumps are best found in deep layers of pine the bed substrate
(Figure 5). Break into tangerine sized chunks and transfer into a new bed. Rejuvenation by transfer isn't as
sure as planting with new spawn, but certainly worth the effort if the conditions are right!
How to Cook Blewit Mushrooms
Blewits can be found late summer into late fall, but we tend to harvest for eating late into the
season when other mushrooms are at rest. And any insect cohabitation in the gills are also at a
minimum. Mushrooms harvested this time of year tend to be wet, so the wet sauté works
Heat a cast iron or non stick skillet to hot and add the trimmed and sliced mushrooms to the
pan. We like to sprinkle with salt while the mushrooms release all the moisture. Once the sliced
surfaces start to brown , add some butter or oil (roasted walnut is wonderful) and season with
more salt. Serve hot as a side dish!