Hygrocybe virginea Tricholomataceae Snowy Waxcap

Hygrocybe virginea Paecilomyces marquandii

Hygrocybe virginea 29kb

Hygrocybe virginea, Snowy Waxcap. One of our commonest Waxcaps, and one of the smallest. Caps reach no more than 2.5 cm, and they grow up to 3cm on a good day! The gills curve down the stem, and the whole fruiting body is a translucent white and shiny when wet. It is usually found in short grassland which has not had too much disturbance, although seems more tolerant than some Waxcaps. It is the host for a mould first described from Guensey and named after a famous Guernsey botanist E.D.Marquand, as Verticillium marquandii (now Paecilomyces marquandii). In Marquand's Flora of 1901 he says that "growing specimens" (of the Waxcap) "are frequently coloured on the underside bright lilac-purple". I think it must be a little less frequent now, as I have only found one colony thus parasitized, at Port Soif, after many years of search. As with most Waxcaps, this species is not toxic, but hardly worth eating.

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