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Hygrocybe insipida

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Hygrophoraceae > Hygrocybe . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Here is a tiny orange waxy cap that features a thinly sticky cap and stem, along with gills that begin to run down the stem, and small spores. It is a European species rarely reported in North America, but similar species abound, and North American herbarium records are probably full of mislabeled collections of little red waxies. Hygrocybe minitula and Hygrocybe subminitula are similar but are red and feature slimier surfaces (and the former species has notched to broadly attached gills).


Ecology: Precise ecological role uncertain (see Lodge and collaborators, 2013). The illustrated collection was growing gregariously under hardwoods, in summer, in Illinois. Largent (1985) reports this species under coast redwood in fall and winter.

Cap: 5-20 mm; convex, becoming broadly convex; thinly sticky when fresh; bald; bright yellowish orange; darker over the center; the margin becoming thinly lined.

Gills: Beginning to run down the stem, or broadly attached to it; distant; thick; dull yellow.

Stem: 25-30 mm long; 1-2 mm thick; equal, with a slightly tapered base; thinly sticky when fresh; reddish orange, with a whitish base.

Flesh: Thin; yellowish to orangish.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5-6.5 x 2.5-3.5 µ; smooth; more or less ellipsoid, but occasionally constricted at the apicular end; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 4-sterigmate; up to 45 µ long. Hymenial cystidia absent. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis an ixocutis or ixotrichoderm.

REFERENCES: (J. E. Lange, 1923) M. M. Moser, 1967. (Largent, 1985; Boertmann, 2000; Lodge et al., 2013.) Herb. Kuo 07250903.

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Hygrocybe insipida

Hygrocybe insipida

Hygrocybe insipida
Spores and basidia

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Kuo, M. (2014, May). Hygrocybe insipida. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: