Hygrocybe splendidissima

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Hygrocybe splendidissima

9 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Cap

Conical to bell shaped, becoming flattened with age, usually with a central bump, surface dry and smooth, deep red, sometimes with paler patches, to about 10 cm across

Gills

Distant, broad, adnate, reddish with an orange margin

Stem

Surface dry and smooth, red to orange, rarely yellow, sometimes yellow or even white at the base, becoming hollow with age, to about 2 cm across and 10 cm high

Flesh

Somewhat fragile, red in the cap, yellow and fibrous in the stem, sometimes white at the stem base

Smell

Indistinct when fresh. According to Boertmann and others, the fungus smells of honey when drying. In collections I have made the honey smell was only present once the flesh was dry, at which point it was not strong, but quite evident.

Season

Autumn

Distribution

Rare

Habitat

Unimproved grassland

Spore Print

White

Microscopic Features

Spores ellipsoidal, not constricted, smooth (7.5-9) x (4.5-5.5) µm2

Edibility

Edible, but should not be collected due to rarity

Notes

Take care not to confuse with H. punicea and H. coccinea. Some experts consider this fungus a variant of H. punicea. I have listed it as a species following the work of Boertmann.

Additional Photographs

Hygrocybe splendidissima

15 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Hygrocybe splendidissima

15 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Hygrocybe splendidissima

9 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Hygrocybe splendidissima

9 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Hygrocybe splendidissima

9 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Hygrocybe splendidissima

15 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Hygrocybe splendidissima

Spores viewed with a x100 immersion objective. 15 November 2008 West Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin