Hygrocybe     Genus

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     Genus     (Fries) Kummer



Microscropic Characters



The boundary between Red Hygrocybes and Yellow Hygrocybes is of course a fuzzy one, since the Red Hygrocybes usually dry/fade orange and then yellow. If you are unsure of which group a golden orange Hygrocybe belongs to, try to coordinate this with evidence of the age of the fruiting body: if it is sticky-capped and vigorous, what you are seeing is probably the original color, and it will be best to key it out under the Yellow Hygrocybes; if it is non-sticky and withered, then it may well be a faded Red Hygrocybe
If in doubt, try both sections. The distinction will not help you all the time, but it will help you most of the time, and makes things easier than throwing them all into one big group

Narrow down your identification:

Hygrocybe psittacinaOther Colored Hygrocybe     Section

Hygrocybe reaiRed Hygrocybe     Section

Yellow Hygrocybe     Section

Hygrocybe cuspidata
Cap up to 2 3/4" across; viscid/slimy when moist; sharply conical; scarlet, fading to reddish orange
Gills free; yellowish
Stem often striate, twisted; yellowish orange to yellow, whitening at the base