af4587's picture

Blackening waxcap

Observed: 27th September 2010 By: af4587af4587’s reputation in Fungi and Lichensaf4587’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

in unimproved pasture. 1189 and 1191 taken 9th July 2012 a few metres from where other was found. This time I uprooted it and photographed the gills and stalk. The swiss army knife for scale is medium sized. The cap was approx 45mm diameter.


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Fenwickfield's picture


I know this has been agreed on by an expert but I would have liked to have seen a photo of the stem and gills,measurements and a description plus habitat to be sure I know it is quite an easy Hygrocybe to identify but I do worry about the amount of detail shown on fungi that are agreed on.


AlanS's picture

As the 'expert' ...

Some fungi cannot be reliably identified even from a technically good photograph, as key features, plus texture, plus smell, cannot be judged. One reason (another is time!) why I mostly pass by the toadstools when looking through the observations.

At other times, even a technically poor photograph can be enough. Here, it is certainly a Hygrocybe; we can see it is one of the conical species, blackening, and it is precisely the colour and with just visible slightly and inately fibrillose streaking of Hygrocybe conica var. conica. There is enough for a firm ID, at least writing as someone who has been involved in waxcap grassland surveys for many years, including a week of site monitoring with mycologists from Kew and Scottish Natural Heritage last autumn. There isn't another British Hygrocybe that matches the features that we can see here.


flaxton's picture

The only problem Alan is that

The only problem Alan is that the latest DNA analysis shows that H conica could very well be a clade of up to 10 species.


AlanS's picture

Indeed so.

Yes, I am delighted that it looks like the DNA results bear out what I have been saying for ages, that taxa such as H. cinereifolia, H. pseudoconica, H. conicoides, etc., etc., genuinely are separate species. This agrees with the slight ecological differences apparent during survey work.

On current nomenclature, I am happy that this is H. conica in the strict sense, though this may change of course.