Gliophorus psittacinus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Gliophorus psittacinus Mushroom
Gliophorus psittacinus is a spectacular mushroom with varied colors, mainly green, yellow, and blue with a shiny, slimy cap and stem. Gills waxy, well-spaced, and green when young. Cap ages to red, pink, yellow, or tawny. Stem ages to yellow or orange.
Older specimens are only slightly harder to identify. They are often multicolored with remnants of the green color left at the apex of the stipe.
It was formerly known as Hygrocybe psittacina, but a molecular phylogenetics study found it to belong in the genus Gliophorus. It had already been placed in Gliophorus, but it had been considered a synonym of Hygrocybe.
Gliophorus psittacinus is generally considered edible, but not worthwhile due to its small size and sliminess. Consumption of over 20 specimens in one sitting can cause gastrointestinal disorders.
Other names: Parrot Waxcap.
Gliophorus psittacinus Identification
Precise ecological role uncertain (see Lodge and collaborators, 2013); appearing in hardwood and conifer forests; growing scattered to gregariously; frequently found in moss, or on mossy embankments along wooded roadsides; spring through fall (or overwinter in warmer climates); widely distributed in North America, at least as a species group.
5-25 mm across; hemispheric to suboval, expanding to broadly convex or nearly flat; bald; slimy; variable in colors but frequently dark green at first, quickly fading to orangish-yellow from the center outward (sometimes orange with a greenish margin, fading to orange); finally dull orangish-yellow; the margin often thinly lined.
Narrowly attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; usually pale green at first, becoming yellowish - but sometimes orange-yellow throughout development; short-gills frequent.
10-40 mm long; 2-3 mm thick; equal; bald; slimy; pale green above and orangish-yellow below when young, fading to pale yellowish overall.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive, or somewhat foul; the taste of slime slightly acidic.
Spores 6-9 x 3.5-4.5 µ; smooth; ellipsoid; hyaline and multiguttulate in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 35-45 µ long; 4-sterigmate or, occasionally, 2-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia absent. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis an ixocutis.
Hygrocybe chlorophana is an all-yellow waxcap of similar size, but it does not have the initial green coloration and it has a hollow stipe at maturity.
Gliophorus psittacinus Taxonomy & Etymology
In 1762 the German mycologist Jacob Christian Schaeffer described the Parrot Waxcap, giving it the scientific (binomial) name Agaricus psittacinus. Its current scientific name was set in 1871 by another German mycologist, Paul Kummer, who transferred this species to the genus Hygrocybe.
Synonyms of Gliophorus psittacinus include Hygrocybe psittacina var. psittacina, Agaricus psittacinus Schaeff., Hygrophorus psittacinus (Schaeff.) Fr., and Hygrocybe psittacina (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.
The autonomous form of Hygrocybe psittacina was formally recorded as Hygrocybe psittacina var. psittacina, because another variety, Hygrocybe psittacina var. perplexa was also recognized.
In 1995, David Boertmann redefined the waxcap Hygrocybe perplexa (A.H. Sm. & Hesler) Arnolds as merely an orange variety of the Parrot Waxcap with no green coloring at the top of the stem. The specimen pictured above is probably, but not definitely, an example of this. It became accepted as Hygrocybe psittacina var. perplexa (A.H. Sm. & Hesler) Boertm.; however, recent DNA studies have split of the Parrot Waxcap group from the Hygrocybe species and defined Gliophorus perplexus as a separate species.
Synonyms of Gliophorus perplexus (A.H. Sm. & Hesler) Kovalenko include Hygrocybe psittacina var. perplexa, Hygrophorus perplexus A.H. Sm. & Hesler, and Hygrocybe perplexa (A.H. Sm. & Hesler) Arnolds.
The genus Gliophorus comes from Greek glia-, meaning glue, and the Latin -phorus from the Greek -phoros which means bearing: Gliophorus refers to the glue-like thick liquid that coats the caps, gills and stems of mushrooms in this genus.
The Greek word for a parrot is psittakos, while the Latin word psittacinus also means parrot.
Gliophorus psittacinus profile
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