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Mauve Splitting Waxcap - Hygrophorus lewellinae

Native to southern Australia (Victoria and Tasmania), and growing in sheltered areas in sand and forest litter, this amazing mushroom has the scientific name of Hygrophorus lewellinae (Hygrophoraceae). This mauve species looks rather watery and delicate, but is not sticky. Gills are mauve and waxy and the stem smooth with horizontal, watery-looking bands. The conical to flat cap splits radially as it ages.

Synonyms: Humidicutis lewelliniae, Hygrocybe lewellinae.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Charlie Price | Davenport, Tasmania (2014) | [Top] - [Bottom]

Naming issues with the Russian Leather Waxcap:

Okay, so, illustrated above is a mushroom that is common EVERY YEAR in our redwood forests throughout CA, and with other trees farther north.

It is called Camarophyllus russocoriaceus by almost everyone, and that name is good in the sense that everyone understands what you’re talking about: a small, waxy-cap like fungus, white overall sometimes with pink or yellow tones, and a strong odor of cedar.

However, that name originally refers to a European fungus, and as in so many cases, the name probably should not be applied to our entity in Western North America. 

Here’s the kicker, though: we already have a name for this. That’s right. A western North American collection of a mushroom matching this description was described as Hygrophorus lawrencei by Hesler and Smith way back when. So we are unnecessarily using a European name! Goddammit! Basically, my point is that the community of fungal enthusiasts has been somewhere between lazy/apathetic towards and understandably daunted/overwhelmed by the mass of names that could potentially refer to our North American species in cases where we’ve been using European names.

So I say - hit the books! Resurrect old names! Those with (Western) North American type collections should be used until proven otherwise. 

Oh, PS - these things aren’t really in either Hygrophorus, Hygrocybe, or Camarophyllus anymore. They’ve been shown to be in Cuphophyllus, but not transferred.

So, yeah, if you want to give an old-time mushroom taxonomist a migraine, walk up to them with this mushroom and mention that you’ve got a very typical collection of Cuphophyllus lawrencei. Sure to draw some stares/angry looks.

anonymous asked:

Hey! Have you had any luck identifying the multi-colored mushrooms in this post? They're so pretty! /post/102479216207/my-bounty-for-the-day-though-most-of-these

I sure did! They are actually the same mushroom from the post below it, the colors got more intense after they had sat out of the dirt for a while. But they are called Hygrophorus Conicus: scarlet red to orange colors, paler toward margin, often with olive tints bruise black and gray around the stem. Found widely distributed across the US in coniferous woods. But don’t eat, they are suspect for possibly poisonous!