What You Should Know
Gliophorus irrigatus is a species of mushroom in the family Hygrophoraceae. It is characterized by its glutinous cap and stem and its grayish brown to nearly black colors. The species is widespread in temperate regions, occurring in grassland in Europe and woodland in North America and elsewhere.
In Europe, Gliophorus irrigatus is typical of waxcap grasslands, a declining habitat due to changing agricultural practices. The slimy waxcap is one of the commoner species, however, only appears on the red lists of threatened fungi in a few countries, including the Czech Republic, Germany (Bavaria), and Poland.
Other names: Slimy Waxcap.
Gliophorus irrigatus Mushroom Identification
Precise ecological role uncertain; growing scattered to gregariously under hardwoods or conifers; early summer through fall (or overwinter in warmer climates); widely distributed in North America.
1–4 cm across; convex at first, expanding to broadly convex, with or without a broad central bump; bald; slimy; nearly black when very young, maturing to dark grayish brown; the margin at first pale (almost bluish when fresh), becoming translucently lined with age.
Broadly attached to the stem, or with a broad tooth that begins to run down the stem; distant or nearly so; nearly whitish when young, but soon pale gray; short-gills present.
2–4 cm long; 1–4 mm thick; equal; bald; slimy; colored like the cap, or paler.
Odor and Taste
KOH negative on cap surface.
Spores 5–7 x 3–5 µm; ellipsoid; smooth; not constricted; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 50–60 µm long; 4-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia not found. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis an ixotrichoderm; brownish in KOH. Clamp connections not found.
Gliophorus irrigatus Taxonomy and Etymology
Described scientifically in 1801 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, who named it Agaricus irrigatus, the Slimy Waxcap was recorded as Hygrocybe unguinatus in Magnus Elias Fries' Systema Mycologicum of 1821. Fries' name for this interesting rather than beautiful remained the accepted scientific basionym until 1976, when Marcel Bon reinstated Persoon's earlier specific epithet in defining this waxcap under the scientific binomial name Hygrocybe irrigata.
In 2013 the current scientific name Gliophorus irrigatus was established by British mycologists Martyn Ainsworth and Paul Kirk.
There are several synonyms of Gliophorus irrigatus including Agaricus irrigatus Pers., Agaricus unguinosus Fr., Hygrophorus irrigatus (Pers.) Fr., Hygrophorus unguinosus (Fr.) Fr., Hygrocybe irrigata (Pers.) Bon, and Hygrocybe unguinosa (Fr.) P. Karst.
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 specific epithets irrigata and irrigatus come from the Latin adjective irrigatus and refer to the watered or dew-covered (wet and slimy) nature of these waxcaps.
Photo 1 - Author: Dan Molter (shroomydan) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Strobilomyces (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Jimmie Veitch (jimmiev) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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