Colorful Hygrophorus     Section

Cortinarius husseyiKey to Gilled Mushrooms     Key
This is a key to gilled mushrooms, that is, mushrooms having a definite cap with a fertile surface consisting of gills. The fruiting body usually also has a stem, although that may be lateral or absent (usually, then, the mushroom is growing from wood). You can use this key to identify mushrooms that you find.

TricholomaAgaricales     Order
Fruiting body containing fibers (usually in the stalk)

Amanita onustaWhite Spored     Suborder
Spore print "light-colored": white or buff, sometimes tinged with pink or tan. Greenish and (except for the Russulales) yellow spore prints also go here
Stalk fibrous, not fracturing like a piece of chalk

Hygrophorus russulaHygrophoraceae     Family
Gills (at least) with a distinct waxy or silky feel, due to unusually long basidia
No annulus, armilla or volva
Cap often slimy
They tend to grow in cold areas, and sometimes fruit at times when it's too cold for other mushrooms
Several have an insulating slimy universal veil. This veil leaves the cap and the stalk slimy, except for the upper stalk where the gills covered it when the mushroom was a button.

Hygrocybe nitrataHygrophorus     Genus
Cap usually larger than 2" across; often viscid or slimy; usually white or dull colored
Stature usually robust
Stalk fleshy; only rarely hollow

Colorful Hygrophorus     Section     

Hygrophorus russula



Okay, so "colorful" is a relative concept..

Narrow down your identification:

Hygrophorus chrysodon
Cap up to 3" across; white; viscid; covered with golden granules when young; margin inrolled at first, shaggy
Gills decurrent; distant; white, with edges sometimes powdered yellow
With conifers

Hygrophorus eburneus
Cap up to 4" across; extremely slimy
Entire fruiting body white
Stem also slimy; sometimes with yellowish or pink tinges

Hygrophorus gliocyclus
Cap up to 4" across; very slimy; pale buff or pale yellow on the disk, whitening towards the margin; margin inrolled when young
Gills decurrent; subdistant; white (sometimes tinged with pink), becoming yellowish in age
Stalk white; very slimy except at the top
Under spruce and pine

Hygrophorus hypothejus
Cap up to 3" across; slimy; greyish brown to dark olive brown when fresh, the margin changing in age to a lighter olive brown, yellowish green, buff, orange, or scarlet (!); margin sometimes virgate, according to Lincoff (1987)
Gills and stalk yellowish
Stalk slimy except at the top

Hygrophorus pudorinus
Cap up to 4 1/2" across; pale pink to pinkish buff, sometimes with pale salmon tinges; viscid when moist
Odor and taste sometimes like turpentine
Gills usually subdecurrent; white or pale cap color
Stalk white or concolorous with cap; tacky; top with scurfy white stuff that darkens reddish in age or on drying and quickly turn golden in KOH
Usually under spruce; but also found under hemlock and in bogs

Hygrophorus russulaHygrophorus russula
Cap up to 5" across; pink to purplish red; tacky at first but soon drying; margin white and inrolled at first, often wavy in age; developing purplish streaks or stains in age
Stalk and gills white at first, developing coloration like cap
Usually under oak

Mycena puraMycena pura
Cap up to 2" across, hygrophanous; mainly some shade of lilac or pink, but perhaps with a little yellow, grey or blue mixed in as well
Odor and taste radish-like
Scattered or in small groups on forest litter


Russula earlei
  • Cap yellow, scrobiculate