Rank: Group or Clade
Name: Hygrocybe conica group
Hygrocybe conica group is more specific than Hygrocybe subsect. Hygrocybe because not all the species in subsect. Hygrocybe look macroscopically like H. conica. For example H. nigrescens sensu Largent.
in the H. conica group. But since many of these are actually quite distinctive species, we often push them out of the group by consensus vote and identify them as particular species. I don’t have a strong opinion about the conspecificity or synonymy of H. olivaceonigra with any of the others, but more work is needed.
Thanks Christian. H.olivaceonigra is clearly a black bruising Hygrocybe species – that to my observations is very different from either H.conica or H.singeri. So it is now identified as a synonym to H.conica – but not the H.conica group. Suggesting as I said earlier that H.conica group is more restrictive than just the H.conica category.
In herbarium practices (that MO refuses to accept but it’s trying to mimic), the uncertainty of ID is expressed by abbreviations such as cf., affin. or a simple question mark. MO sets a straitjacket on itself by requiring precision where the precision cannot be achieved. Make the MO gurus happy and use the the Hygrocybe subsect. Hygrocybe instead of something that would have an indefinable degree of uncertainty, such as Hygrocybe conica group. Hygrocybe subsect. Hygrocybe also sounds more scientific than a simple question mark.
This is especially frustrating for me. The new book California Mushrooms list H.singeri and says ….. “this specie is commonly found associated with Monterey cypress and redwood forest” …… They suggest H.conica is a “Missapplied name”. But then in Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, the authors list H.conica and kind of kiss off the idea that H.singeri is much different. But then of course in the Pacific Northwest we don’t have redwood. So for people trying to place their observation in the right place here on MO, it is confusing.
And to add confusion; I don’t see a mention of H.olivaceonigra here whereas H.olivaceonigra is listed as synonym to H.conica. That would suggest to a person looking for the proper place to put an observation that H.conica group is MORE restrictive that H.conica. Won’t that just be confusing to people?