|California Fungi—Hygrocybe conica
(Photo: © Terry Goyan)
(Schaeff.: Fries) Kumm.
Führ. Pilzk. 111. 1871.
Just beginning to blacken.
Cap 2-9 cm broad, conic to occasionally convex, sharply umbonate, margin sometimes upturned at maturity; surface smooth to innately streaked, subviscid when moist, color variable: red, orange, yellow, to yellowish-green, bruising black and/or blackening in age; flesh thin, colored like the cap, blackening in age.
Gills adnexed to nearly free, close, thick, waxy, pallid at first, becoming yellowish-olive to yellow, bruising black.
Stipe 5-10 cm tall, 0.5-1.0 cm thick, fragile, equal, moist to subviscid, twisted-striate, white at the base, yellow to orange above, blackening when bruised or in age; veil absent.
Spores 9-13 x 5.0-6.5 µm, smooth, elliptical, nonamyloid; spore print white.
Solitary to scattered under conifers; in our area common under Monterey cypress and redwood; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter.
Questionable. Not substantial enough to justify collecting for the table.
This member of the waxy cap group is recognized by its distinctly conic cap, yellow to scarlet fruiting body, all parts of which bruise or blacken in age. Occasionally one will encounter all black, still relatively fresh specimens in the field. The white spores, waxy gills and flesh serve to separate this fungus from unrelated red-colored mushrooms.
is very similar, but has a distinctly viscid stipe. Another blackening species is
, which is distinquished from
by a typically redder and less conic shaped cap and an oak woodland habitat.
is also similar but does not bruise black.
There is a complex of yellow-orange black staining Hygrcybes in California. Many will need new names and more data/research is needed to clarify the species. The true
of Europe probably does not occure in California.
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(1990). Flora Agaricina Neerlandica -- Critical monographs on the families of agarics and boleti occuring in the Netherlands. Volume 2. Pluteaceae, Tricholomataceae. A. A. Balkema: Rotterdam, Netherlands. 137 p.
Bird, C.J. & Grund, D.W.
(1979). Nova Scotian Species of
. The Nova Scotia Museum: Nova Scotia. 131 p.
(1996). The Genus
(Fungi of Northern Europe, Vol. 1). Danish Mycological Society: Copenhagen, Denmark. 184 p.
Breitenbach, J. & Kränzlin, F
. (1991). Fungi of Switzerland. Volume 3: Boletes and Agarics (1st Part). Strobilomycetaceae, Boletaceae, Paxillaceae, Gomphidiaceae, Hygrophoraceae, Tricholomataceae, Polyporaceae (lamellate). Verlag Mykologia: Luzern, Switzerland. 361 p
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A.
(2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Hesler, L.R. & Smith, A.H.
(1963). North American Species of
. University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, TN. 416 p.
(1985). The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 5. Hygrophoraceae. Mad River Press: Eureka, CA. 208 p.
(1949). Mushrooms in their Natural Habitats. Sawyer's Inc: Portland, OR. 626 p.
(2005). Fungi of Australia: Hygrophoraceae. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne, Australia. 179 p.
Other Descriptions and Photos
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The Fungi of California
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