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