Hygrocybe is one of the wax-gill mushrooms, a group of small, brightly-coloured, saprobic, soil-inhabiting fungi which have brittle flesh with a waxy feel when crushed between the fingers. The main genera of wax-gills are Hygrophorus, Humidicutis, Hygrocybe and Gliophorus. Gliophorus is recognised by the thick glutinous coating over the surface, the caps of Humidicutis are characteristically deeply split at the sides, the other genera distinguished on the basis of microscopic features of hyphae in the gills and the cap. Gills broadly attached to stalk or extending down the stalk, no ring on stalk. Spore print white.
There are more than 20 species reported from New Zealand, most indigenous, but a few found in urbans areas that appear to match Northern Hemisphere species are thought to be introduced exotics.


NZFungi Entry

Hygrocybe blanda

Hygrocybe cantharellus

One of the brilliant red species. Others include H. elegans and H. miniata (differs in having gills which do not extend down the stalk).

Hygrocybe cerinolutea

One of the pale yellow species.

Hygrocybe firma

A variable, yellow or red coloured species. Other species with a similar range of colours include H. julietae, H. miniceps and H. procera.

Hygrophorus fuscoaurantiacus
(=Hygrocybe fuscoaurantiaca)

One of the species with a dark coloured cap.