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Hygrocybe glutinipes

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

by Michael Kuo

This bright little waxy cap commonly appears in late spring in the oak-hickory forests of central Illinois, usually in moss beds but occasionally on bare soil. It is bright orange, and slimy from head to toe. It is a good match for the European species Hygrocybe glutinipes, but seems to differ in its persistently and consistently bright orange colors, and in its vernal appearance; the European species is orange or, more commonly, yellow, and appears in summer and fall. A red version of the species, Hygrocybe glutinipes var. ruber, is also common in Europe--and it has been recorded in North Carolina by Hygrocybe expert Jean Lodge.

Thanks to Ron Petersen and the University of Tennessee Fungal Herbarium for facilitating study of collection documents and photos of Hygrocybe glutinipes var. rubra.


Ecology: Precise ecological role uncertain (see Lodge and collaborators, 2013); appearing in woods, often on mossy ridgetops; growing scattered or gregariously; spring; North American distribution uncertain. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Cap: 5-30 mm across; convex, bell shaped, or nearly hemispheric, becoming broadly convex, broadly bell shaped, or nearly flat; slimy; bald; bright orange to bright reddish orange, fading to paler orange; the margin sometimes faintly lined.

Gills: Narrowly to broadly attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; orange or pale pastel orange; short-gills frequent.

Stem: 20-40 mm long; 2-6 mm thick; equal; slimy; bald; colored like the cap, or paler.

Flesh: Colored like the cap, or paler; thin.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap erasing orange pigment.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-9 x 3.5-5 µ; smooth; ellipsoid; hyaline and uniguttulate in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia to 45 µ long; 4-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia absent. Gill tissue parallel. Pileipellis an ixotrichoderm of elements 2-4 µ wide.

REFERENCES: (J. E. Lange, 1940) R. Haller of Aarau, 1956. (Arnolds, 1990; Boertmann, 2000.) Herb. Kuo 05200401, 05260401, 05170703, 06041302.

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Hygrocybe glutinipes

Hygrocybe glutinipes

Hygrocybe glutinipes

Hygrocybe glutinipes
Spores and basidium

Hygrocybe glutinipes

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