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.

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