Key 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.
Fruiting body containing fibers (usually in the stalk)
White 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
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.
Cap up to 2" across, usually less than 1" across; almost always slimy; often brightly colored
Often in moss
Stem often fragile and hollow
Red Hygrocybe Section
Red, reddish orange, or dark reddish orange coloration present somewhere on the fruiting body
Colors usually fading from red to orange or yellow, or from orange to yellow, as the mushroom ages
Here are the characters that distinguish this species from the others in its group. For its more general characters, see higher up on the page.
If there's just a few words or a microscopic feature here, a more thorough description can be found above.
- Cap up to 3 1/2" across; tacky; sharply conical; reddish orange at first (rarely red or olive-yellow); bruising black upon handling, also aging black
Gills adnexed or free; yellowish, also blackening upon handling
Stem often striate, twisted; yellowish, whitening at the base; also blackening upon handling
The 3 1/2" size is for giant specimens growing in deep humus. Usually it's 1 1/2" across, max