Red Hygrocybe     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.

HygrocybeHygrocybe     Genus
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     

Hygrocybe reai


Narrow down your identification:

Hygrocybe acutoconica
Cap up to 1 1/2" across; sharply conical; reddish orange to yellow, often not fading in age; slimy/viscid when moist
Stalk often striate, twisted; often aging black at the base
Gills yellow, sometimes free

Hygrocybe cantharellus
Cap up to 1 3/8" across; gently convex; scarlet to orange, fading with age; minutely scurfy
Gills distant; decurrent; yellower, paler version of cap color
On rich soil, wood, and in bogs

Hygrocybe coccineaHygrocybe coccinea
Cap up to 3 1/4" across; gently convex; scarlet, fading to orangish red
Stalk scarlet; often yellow near the base but sometimes coated with white mycelium instead
Gills and flesh pale orange to yellow; gill margins sometimes colored a different shade

Hygrocybe conicaHygrocybe conica
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
With conifers

Hygrocybe miniataHygrocybe miniata
Cap up to 1 5/8" across; broadly convex, often umbilicate; bright scarlet, fading to reddish orange or yellow; becoming scurfy in age
Gills sometimes subdecurrent; colored like the cap at first, but changing to orange/yellow and fading much more quickly

Hygrocybe purpureofolia
Cap up to 2" across; broadly convex becoming flat; dark reddish orange, lightening or oranging in age; not sticky at all
Gills sometimes subdecurrent; purple to lavender, becoming yellow in age
Stalk colored like cap, but lighter; somewhat flattened, with a vertical groove

Hygrocybe reaiHygrocybe reai
Cap up to 1 1/4" across; scarlet to reddish orange, often fading to orange or yellow at margin; slimy; margin often translucent-striate
Stalk concolorous; also slimy
Taste bitter
Under conifers; usually in moss


Hygrophorus speciosus
  • Cap up to 2" across; orange red; slimy
  • Stalk white; sheathed with a slimy universal veil that dries orangish yellow
  • Gills often subdecurrent; white or yellow, sometimes white with yellow edges
  • Under conifers, especially larch