Collection location: Swans Crossing State Forest, New South Wales, Australia [Click for map]
Because of our recent extremely wet season running into summer from spring we are seeing some fungi now that we do not usually see for a couple of months. I believe this specimen to be Hygrocybe firma. It was found in an area of rainforest that is mainly eucalyptus and is found because of the brilliant red colouring. The cap is usually all that is displayed and the rest is usually covered up by moss fern. The colour of the gills is more pink than red and I also noticed some discolouration on the gills. I am not sure if this would help in the ID of the specimen. They are terribly fragile and till now I have had very limited success in obtaining spore readings with these specimens. (it seems to be one colour one day and a different colour on another day)
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Hygrocybe firma seams to be a species complex here in New Zealand with a number of very different Hygrocybe keying out to this. Microscopically this fungus has spores and basida of two different sizes the small bright red one with white to pale pink gills is a form seen here two.