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Hygrocybe miniata

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

by Michael Kuo

If you enjoy spending long hours trying to identify mushrooms, I highly recommend you pick some little orange or red waxy caps, bring them home, and try to figure out what they are. Hygrocybe miniata is not Latin for "many look-alikes," but it ought to be. The mushroom's defining features include its dry convex cap, its gills (which are attached to the stem or begin to run slightly down it, but do not really run down it), its dry stem, and microscopic features. Many of these features are variable, however, so it's probably not a good idea to bet the house on your identification. Be sure to compare with Hygrocybe cantharellus and Hygrocybe squamulosa, both of which are very similar.

Hygrophorus miniatus is a synonym.


Ecology: Precise ecological role uncertain (see Lodge and collaborators, 2013); appearing in woods under hardwoods, especially oaks; usually growing gregariously; early summer through fall; widely reported in North America. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois and Indiana.

Cap: 5-22 mm across; convex, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat; often developing a broad central depression; dry or slightly moist in humid or wet weather; innately, finely, radially scurfy or fibrillose, especially with age; scarlet to reddish orange when young and fresh, fading to orange or yellow; the margin sometimes becoming thinly lined and/or scalloped.

Gills: Broadly attached to the stem or beginning to run down it; nearly distant; thick; pale yellow at first, becoming yellow to orange; short-gills frequent.

Stem: 20-40 mm long; 2-5 mm thick; equal, or tapering to base; dry; bald; yellow near the apex; elsewhere colored more or less like the cap but fading more slowly; base white.

Flesh: Orange to pale yellow; thin.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive, or somewhat foul; taste not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5-8 x 3-4 µ; smooth; ellipsoid or, not infrequently, somewhat constricted and subpyriform; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 2- or 4-sterigmate; 40-55 µ long. True hymenial cystidia absent, but filamentous pseudocystidia sometimes present on lamellar edge. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis a cutis of hyaline, clamped elements 5-10 µ wide.

REFERENCES: (Fries, 1821) Kummer, 1871. (Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Hesler and Smith, 1963; Bird & Grund, 1979; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Largent, 1985; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Arnolds, 1995; Barron, 1999; Boertmann, 2000; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009; Lodge et al., 2013; Kuo & Methven, 2014.) Herb. Kuo 07140302, 07240402, 05250802.

This website contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Hygrocybe miniata

Hygrocybe miniata

Hygrocybe miniata

Hygrocybe miniata

Hygrocybe miniata

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