Observation 44037: Hygrophorus subalpinus A.H. Sm.

When: 2010-04-07

Collection location: Idaho, USA [Click for map]

Who: Suzanne Endres (Suzyann13)

No specimen available

We find these every year in the fall after good rains.

They are pure white with a very thick stem, they never change color in any parts when bruised or cut, the buttons to the adults all very firm fleshed, some have a slightly sweet or spicy smell, but some don’t have any smell. Their cap is definitely waxy, and slimy when wet, and the gills, I believe, are adnate to decurrent, close when the mushroom is young and spread further apart as it ages. The buttons have a veil that doesn’t last long, as when they start growing, the veil disappears. Their spoor print is white.

They come up under pine or fir trees and like very mulchy soil, as you can see in the photos of mushrooms we did not clean.

We have not tried to eat them as we cannot positively identify them, but we believe them to be Hygrophorus subalpinus, or alpine waxy cap, as “The Savory Wild Mushroom” calls that variety.

I have photos of buttons and older mushrooms to post.

Does anyone have enough experience to tell me if these are probably Hygrophorus subalpinus?

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:01:22 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Idaho USA’ to ‘Idaho, USA



Proposed Names

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Used references: The Savory Wild Mushroom

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Me Too
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2010-04-08 11:14:44 PDT (-0700)

I like Russula brevipes’ firm non slimy texture! flavour it if it is bland! :D

Thank you for the information on Hygrophorus subalpinus
By: Suzanne Endres (Suzyann13)
2010-04-08 09:30:44 PDT (-0700)

It’s most interesting to me to identify it, as we always find lots of specimens in the fall hunts. We wanted to taste it just because it looks so nice and the flesh is very firm. I do think that liking the taste of various types of mushroom is really a person’s own preference, because my husband and I love the mushroom called Russula Brevipes, which is similar in appearance to this one in color and texture, only has different gills and no slimy or waxy cap, yet our friend Larry, who introduced us to mushroom hunting many years ago, thinks it is tasteless and not worth wasting time on.

we were not the first group nor the first individuals to try it…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-04-08 08:54:28 PDT (-0700)

altho Alan was perhaps the most enthusiastic and positive taster on record! edibility or rather palatability is certainly a matter of individual preference. edibility vs toxicity is something different. there is no evidence that this is a toxic mushroom, just not a very choice edible one, to most.

IF this mushroom can first be safely IDed to species, THEN I would say go ahead and try it…maybe you’ll like it, and maybe you won’t. But there are plenty of other great edible species that you can concentrate on, w/out having to try the marginal ones.

Not certain edibility…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-04-08 08:39:20 PDT (-0700)

I think that one random tasting does not edibility make. Not sure passing that on helps, unless you can get large groups of people from many places to say, that they tried it.

Edibility is not a observable that can be well defined, it is a personal choice…

I also agree that this looks like subalpinus…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-04-08 07:56:12 PDT (-0700)

here’s another photo that I took of a picture perfect specimen and its lingering veil in CO: http://mushroomobserver.org/image/show_image/47475?obs=22298&q=3cu

and I seemed to recall that we HAVE eaten this one, and this obsie by Alan Rockefeller confirms it. And BTW Doug, you were there, too! ;)


Also Suzanne, click on “about Hygrophorus subalpinus” to get an MO gallery of all of the photos and sightings of this mushroom.

They look like it to me…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-04-08 06:38:08 PDT (-0700)

With the kinda thick white gills, and the veil, they do look like it. The white spores is key, along with the “waxy” feel of the mushroom, but that can be hard to describe in words.

There are Cortinarius that are almost the same shape when young, but the veil stays around, and they have very brown gills. With the white gills there are Amanita with a veil, but they aren’t as fleshy, different feel, different gill attachment (perhaps). All white with a veil there is also Tricholoma (different veil, habitat, odor), Agaricus (dark brown gills), Catathelasma (different habitat, different veil)… umm, any others?

No idea about edibility, people usually don’t go after Hygrophorus. You are on your own, and if you try to eat them, take notes.

Created: 2010-04-07 22:30:56 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-03-17 06:17:59 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 470 times, last viewed: 2019-01-16 07:34:08 PST (-0800)
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