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Natural Perspective

The Fungus Kingdom: Puzzler

(Last modified: 7 May 2015)

NOTE: I placed this photo here last year as an experiment in using this Web site as a learning tool -- for myself! Three months later, much to my delight, José Ramón Martínez Alonso of Vizcaya, Spain came up with what appears to be the correct identification: Sheathed Waxy Cap (Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus). Unfortunately, he left no email address or other way to contact him. Jose, if you are out there, thank you for your help!

Though the "contest" is now closed, here is what it looked like...

Do you know what this is? It has white spores; adnate, adnexed or slightly notched gills (see for yourself); and a glutinous veil which had dried somewhat by the time of this photo. The young specimen pictured here was around 4 cm wide(1.5 inches) and around as tall. Older specimens were as large as 10 cm (4 inches) but not as high.

For extra credit, can you guess when I took this picture?

[photo:  Tricholoma?]
Here's what others have said:

I think that the mushroom you describe on your website is an Hygrophorus Dichrous or an H. olivaceo-alvus. José Ramón Martínez Alonso (Vizcaya - Spain)
José Ramón Martínez Alonso <I have no e-mail, sorry. >
- Wed 17-Jul-1996 at 02:01:29 PM
I think the mushroom listed on your website (the Agaric with the glutinous veil) is a Limacella. The attached gills is puzzling, but many Amanitas have gills which are at least finely attached.
Dr. John (Jack) Murphy <>
Dept. of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
Chicago, IL 60605-2496
(312) 922-9410 ext. 722
fax (312) 427-2530
- Mon 22-Apr-1996 at 11:22:17 PM
It's probably either a Limacella or a Hygrophorous or an unusual Tricholoma... but which species???
ari kornfeld (with thanks to Mike Wood & Fred Stevens)
- Mon 22-Apr-1996 at 11:28:40 PM
Phylum: Basidiomycota (spores produced on basidia)
Class: Homobasidiomycetae (substantial mushrooms)
Subclass: Gasteromycetes (spores grow internally)
Order: Agaricales (umbrella-like mushrooms)
Family: Hygrophoraceae (waxy caps)
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This site produced and maintained by Ari Kornfeld
Copyright © 1996-2015 All rights reserved.

Collaboration and inspiration thanks to Susan Kornfeld
Early PhotoCD scans by Alpha CD Imaging, Menlo Park, CA
Special thanks to Claire Doyle Ragin for scanning some early photos
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