Phlegmacium is a subgenus of Cortinarius, which is the largest genus of agarics in Europe. Phlegmacium species form mycorrhiza with coniferous or deciduous trees. They are widely distributed in Europe - from the oligotrophic spruce and pine forests of Fennoscandia to the calcareous holm oak forests in the mediterranean. Like all Cortinarius species Phlegmacium have brownish ornamented spores and posesses a web-like cortina. The combination of a sticky/viscid cap and a dry stipe is however unique to Phlegmacium. The taxonomy and nomenclature of Phlegmacium is difficult. Species are mainly distinguished macroscopicaly. But spore morphology/size and other microscopical and chemical characters are also important.