Gorgeous waxy cap

Hygrocybe cuspidata

This gorgeous waxy cap might best be described as a non-blackening version of Hygrocybe conica--or as a red version of the orange or yellow species Hygrocybe acutoconica. Its sharply pointed cap is scarlet red and sticky when fresh and young; its stem is dry, and ranges from reddish to yellow.

According to some mycologists (e.g. Boertmann, 2000), Hygrocybe cuspidata should not be treated as distinct from Hygrocybe acutoconica, since it differs only in color. Smith and Hesler (1963) treated the mushrooms as distinct species. My collecting experience suggests the two should be maintained as separate species, particularly because I have seen the two fruiting in distinct red and orange groups, only a few meters apart, without any orange-red "intermediates" present (even though faded specimens of both groups were present).

Kuo, M. (2014, June). Hygrocybe cuspidata. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/hygrocybe_cuspidata.html
Hygrocybe cuspidata Stunning scarlet and yellow waxy cap Fall,Geotagged,Hygrocybe cuspidata,United States


Cap: 2-4 cm; conical, expanding to broadly conical; slimy to sticky when fresh; bald; scarlet red, fading to orangish red; the margin sometimes faintly lined, often upturned and splitting in age.

Gills: Free from the stem or narrowly attached to it; close or almost distant; thick; pale orange or orangish yellow, darkening with age.

Stem: 2.5-6.5 cm long; 0.5-2 cm thick; equal or slightly tapering to apex; dry, or a little tacky when handled; bald, becoming fibrillose with age; often becoming grooved and/or twisted lengthwise; becoming hollow; colored like the cap, or paler; white at the base.

Flesh: Yellowish or whitish; thin; not blackening.
Hygrocybe cuspidata - Candy-apple Waxy Cap Small, conical red-orange Hygrocybe mushroom with yellow-orange (dry and slightly ridged) stipe. A little dried out from the lack of rain. 

Base of ridge in dense mixed hardwood forest. Surrounded by mulch. Geotagged,Hygrocybe cuspidata,Summer,United States,agaricales,agaricomycete,basidiomycota,fungi,fungus,hygrocybe,hygrophoraceae,mushroom,mushrooms,wax cap,waxcap,waxy cap,waxycap


Hygrophorus cuspidatus
Hygrocybe acutoconica var. cuspidata.


widely distributed in North America


scattered or gregariously under oaks and other hardwoods; late spring through fall


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

SpeciesHygrocybe cuspidata