Hygrocybe glutinipes: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Hygrocybe glutinipes Mushroom
Hygrocybe glutinipes is a bright little waxy cap that 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. The blobs of thick glutinous mucus cling to the stems in wet weather, and the caps are persistently slimy or sticky even in old specimens.
One other fascinating feature of Hygrocybe glutinipes is that it comes in two very different color varieties, the more common being orange and a much rarer variety being a startlingly bright red.
A red version of the species, H. 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 the study of collection documents and photos of Hygrocybe glutinipes var. rubra.
Other names: Glutinous Waxcap.
Hygrocybe glutinipes Identification
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.
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.
Narrowly to broadly attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; orange or pale pastel orange; short-gills frequent.
20-40 mm long; 2-6 mm thick; equal; slimy; bald; colored like the cap, or paler.
Colored like the cap, or paler; thin.
Odor and Taste
KOH on cap erasing orange pigment.
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.
Hygrocybe glutinipes Look-Alikes
Differs by its greyish gills.
Also yellow-orange but it is readily distinguished by the honey-like odor of its crushed stem base.
Hygrocybe glutinipes Taxonomy & Etymology
Described in 1940 by Danish mycologist Jakob Emanuel Lange (1864 - 1941), the Glutinous Waxcap was initially given the scientific name
In 1956, Swedish mycologist R. Haller Aar. raised this mushroom to the rank of species, renaming it Hygrocybe glutinipes. since the separation of the red variety in 1983, the nominate form is now recorded as Hygrocybe glutinipes var. glutinipes.
Synonyms of Hygrocybe glutinipes var. glutinipes include Hygrophorus glutinipes (J. E. Lange) P. D. Orton, Hygrocybe citrina (Rea) J. E. Lange var. glutinipes J. E. Lange, and Hygrocybe. aurantioviscida Arnolds.
Hygrocybe glutinipes var. rubra has an even shorter taxonomic history. This lovely little waxcap was first described and given its current scientific name by French mycologist Marcel Bon in 1983.
The genus Hygrocybe is so named because fungi in this group are always very moist. Hygrocybe means 'watery head'.
The specific epithet glutinipes means 'with a glutinous foot' - a reference to the blobs of slime that adhere to the stems of these little waxcaps.
Hygrocybe glutinipes profile
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