Sunday, 20 October 2019

Testing, testing: some orange waxcaps

Found quite a range of reddish-orange waxcaps today, so thought I'd try running them through the ID tool.

Worth Park collection 1
Growing in short grassland near the car park.

The fruit bodies were very fresh, with slippery stems. The gill attachment looked to be mostly broadly adnate, with a few gills appearing shortly decurrent.

An orange-red cap, lubricous stem and broadly adnate gills gives a top answer of H. insipida in the ID tool, which was the name Nick Aplin had suggested when we found it  based on a quick look at its field characteristics.

If I'd have chosen 'viscid' for the character of the stem, I would have got H. mucronella as the top answer. Looking in Boertmann, these two species are superficially similar and easily confused. I touched the tip of my tongue to the cap to see if I could detect a bitter taste (a key feature of H. mucronella). I didn't get any taste from it, so H. insipida seems like a good call.

Likely identification: Spangle Waxcap Hygrocybe insipida

Worth Park collection 2
Growing in short grassland below the 'ha ha'.

These seemed somewhat different in character to the previous collection. More slender. More obviously lubricous, with a striate cap and translucent eye at the centre. Gills decurrent. And a more reddish tone at the top of the stem.

It turns out these are all classic characteristics of Spangle Waxcap H. insipida. Boertmann does note that this species is 'very variable regarding colour and stature'.

Likely identification: Spangle Waxcap Hygrocybe insipida

Sayers Common collection 1

I'm inclined to think this collection with broadly adnate gills is H. insipida again. Although I neglected to accurately record the cap and stem texture when fresh.

Sayers Common collection 2

A red (scarlet) fruit body with broadly adnate gills and lubricous cap leads to a range of possible answers in the ID tool.

Adding that the stem is predominantly red narrows things down a bit, and then you get to judgements about the appearance of the cap...

... looking at the cap under a hand lens, I think you could describe it as 'finely veined or nodulose'.

Identification: Scarlet Waxcap Hygrocybe coccinea.

Sayers Common collection 3

Ah, I recognise these now!

Likely ID: Spangle Waxcap Hygrocybe insipida

Sayers Common collection 4

A greasy, yellow cap points towards Oily Waxcap Hygrocybe quieta. And I think I could detect the characteristic smell, described to me as being like wet laundry (if you don't know what bedbugs smell like).

The greyish sheen on the cap is typical of weathered specimens.

And the salmon tones to the gills are also typical.

Identification: Oily Waxcap Hygrocybe quieta.

Some bonus finds from Sayers Common

Smoky Spindles Clavaria fumosa

Mucilago crustacea

Scarlet Caterpillarclub Cordyceps militaris

Blackening Waxcap Hygrocybe conica s.l.

For the record
Date: 20/10/2019
Location: Worth Park, Crawley & Christ Church, Sayers Common

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