When: 2009-04-12

Collection location: Canyon, Contra Costa Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Richard Sullivan (enchplant)

No specimen available

Growing in leaf litter under bays and madrones near redwoods.

Does anyone know what happened to the name H. subminiata used by Arora in Mushrooms Demystified p.113 as being common in California esp. under redwoods?

Species Lists



Proposed Names

-31% (3)
Recognized by sight: Tiny. Less than 1cm across. Red stem and cap white gills.
Based on microscopic features: spores elliptic-oblong 6-6.5µm x 3.5-4µm.
Based on chemical features: no odor, flesh didn’t taste bitter.
84% (1)
Recognized by sight

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Richard Sullivan (enchplant)
2009-04-14 00:00:41 CDT (-0500)

Thanks Doug and Gerhard. Yeah, I have to agree with you. When you only have Mushrooms demystified to go by it makes it very hard to get to species with these So to clarify: the distinguishing characteristic in H. miniata is the feltiness of the cap? So what is H. subminiata does anyone know?

Yeah, this one is not H. miniata.
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-04-13 10:53:25 CDT (-0500)

There is an over-use of the name H. miniata in California. Mostly because of the style of Mushrooms Demystified, where a group of similar taxa are listed under the more common taxa in that area, so a number of small orange-ish Hygrocybes are listed under the H. miniata. Except H. miniata itself is a fairly specific taxon for the area. It is hygrophanous, from reddish orange to a yellow orange, and has scales in the cap (although these aren’t all that noticeable when fresh).

From the Largent monograph on Hygrophorus of CA there are a number of small red to orange Hygrocybes in the west, which aren’t H. miniata. This is one of them.

But he lists these taxa, and they are very similar, and he doesn’t give that much help on how to separate them. I think some have cystidia, some don’t, and there are spore size differences, and one is bitter, but that one is very rare in the west.

Personally, I separate out the H. miniata since that can be done, and the rest I put under H. minutula, until I get around to trying to figure out how to split the 5-10 other small orange Hygrocybes. (Or as Largent lists it Hygrophorus minutulus, he calls them all Hygrophorus.)

European specimens
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-04-13 09:31:38 CDT (-0500)

of H. miniata have something like felty hairs on the cap, at least in the very middle. The color of gills is not as important, it can vary even within one collection or depending upon the age of the fruitbody. Furthermore there exist a lot of varieties that go as species on their own sometimes… I am convinced you cannot apply this name to the find … it looks like a genuine American species to me

Not Felty
By: Richard Sullivan (enchplant)
2009-04-13 09:19:33 CDT (-0500)

No Gerhard, It didn’t seem felty. I had to wash the mud off so it looks slimy. I would say it was a little sticky. I looked at lots of pictures of miniata and yes the ones in Europe seem to have yellower gills etc.

Is it somewhat felty
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-04-13 07:25:17 CDT (-0500)

on the cap center? It doesn’t look exactly like the European H.miniata …