When: 2007-06-05

Collection location: Big Thicket National Preserve, Polk Co., Texas, USA [Click for map]

Who: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

No specimen available

Mushrooms of North America, Texas Mushrooms and Mushroons Demystified were all helpful in iding.

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H. miniata vs. H. cantharellus…
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-04-07 11:02:23 CDT (-0400)

i’d be inclined to call this H. miniata based on the habitat and pileus texture.

“Field guides often distinguish Hygrocybe miniata from Hygrocybe cantharellus on the basis of its attached, rather than decurrent (running down the stem) gills. This feature is variable, however, as the illustrations demonstrate. According to Hesler & Smith (1963), gill attachment in Hygrocybe miniata varies “considerably.” They continue:

One would naturally assume that a mushroom with adnexed, ventricose gills was distinct from one in which the gills were truly decurrent. However, after studying many collections we are inclined to doubt the validity of maintaining such a distinction. The gills of [Hygrocybe miniata] are typically bluntly adnate. From this condition they may become ventricose and adnexed if the pileus does not expand completely, or subdecurrent if it does. (158)

The fact that the cap of Hygrocybe miniata often fades from scarlet to orange or yellow should also not be given too much importance; mushrooms, especially red ones, are subject to fading—or not fading—depending on a whole host of conditions the mushrooms have no control over!

Other macrofeatures often used to separate Hygrocybe miniata from look-alikes include the length of its stem, and the scurfiness of its cap. In the case of the stem, however, longer than typical growth can occur when the mushroom has to conquer a soft, deep substrate (sphagnum, for example)—and then there is Hygrocybe miniata var. longipes (nearly identical but with a longer stem) to consider. As for the cap texture, Hygrocybe miniata varies from fairly smooth to fairly scurfy."


“Distinguished from the other small, bright red species in this genus by its dry scurfy cap.”