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Meadow Waxcap

Hygrocybe pratensis

Months

Season

Habitat

Apricot mushroom with flat top

How to identify:

CapApricot, slightly pitted and with powdery bloom sometimes visible with a hand lens, fading to buff with age. Convex, becoming flattened or slightly concave. 
Cap Diameter2.5 – 10 cm 
GillsPale whitish apricot 
StemsWhitish apricot, tapering to the base. 
FleshWhitish apricot 
SporesWhite

 

 

Where to find them?

Meadow Waxcaps (Hygrocybe pratensis) are a common find on cropped grassland and upland pastures. It appears from late August until December. Particularly in upland areas on acidic soil, the Meadow Waxcap is one of the few waxcap species that can tolerate small amounts of fertiliser being applied to its grassland habitat.

Did you know?

Two varieties of the Meadow Waxcap occur in BritainOne is apricot and the other is paler and almost white. It is a conspicuous and robust waxcap often persisting for several weeks. 

Don’t mistake it with…

Pink Ballerina

Other Species

Read Dead-nettle

Read Dead-nettle

Lamium purpureum

Tree Lungwort
Tree Lungwort spanning entire branch of ancient tree

Tree Lungwort

Lobaria pulmonaria

Reindeer Moss
Small patch of jagged, white Reindeer Moss amongst bright green plants

Reindeer Moss

Cladonia rangiferina

Hazel Glove Fungus

Hypocreopsis rhododendri

Description

Found on Hazel trees in Britain, it is actually parasitic on the Glue Crust fungus Hymenochaete corrugate not living off the Hazel tree. It is not always possible to see the host crust fungus due to the presence of the Hazel Glove fungus and mosses.

Hazel Glove Fungus’ common name comes from the finger-like projections of the stromata (cushion-like plate of solid mycelium).  It is a type of ascomycete fungus. When mature, the central area of a stroma becomes pinkish brown, and individual perithecia (tiny black dots on the surface of these orange lobes which are sac openings which release the spores) become visible.

Distribution

Most likely to find in either west coast of Scotland in Atlantic Hazel woodland or temperate rainforest sites or in the south west of England, in North Devon and Cornwall, again in temperate rainforest habitat.

Habitat

Temperate rainforest, parasitic on Glue Crust fungus Hymenochaete corrugata on Hazel trees.

Did you know?

Hazel Glove fungus is an indicator of good air quality and temperate rainforest conditions, making it a flagship species for this threatened habitat.

Temperate rainforests are found in areas that are influenced by the sea, with high rainfall and humidity and damp climate. They are home to some intriguing and sometimes rare bryophytes, plants and fungi.

Plantlife are working in many ways to protect and restore this globally threatened habitat.

Other Species

Sweet Violet

Sweet Violet

Viola odorata

Marsh-marigold
Ten bright yellow Marsh-marigold flowers

Marsh-marigold

Caltha palustris

Lady Orchid
Close up of multiple pink-purple Lady Orchids amongst foliage

Lady Orchid

Orchis purpurea

Fibrous Waxcap

Hygrocybe intermedia 

Orange waxcap with pointed cap in grass

How to identify:

CapBright orange and can be quite large. Conical, flattening with age, umbonate. Texture quite unique, with coarse scales, like wet velvet. The edge is irregular and splits with age. 
Cap diameter 5-11 cm
GillsPale to bright yellow
StemSimilar colour to cap, but sometimes more yellow and white showing. Very fibrous also. 
FleshPale yellow
SporesWhite

 

Where to find them?

The Fibrous Waxcap (Hygrocybe intermedia) is an uncommon to occasional find in most of Britain and Ireland except in some parts of Wales, where it is more frequently recorded. Most often seen in unimproved grassland and, occasionally, in sand-dune systems. 

Did you know?

The bright right orange (with hints of yellow) cap, fades and sometimes blackening with age.

Don’t mistake it with..

The Blackening Waxcap

Other Species

Read Dead-nettle

Read Dead-nettle

Lamium purpureum

Tree Lungwort
Tree Lungwort spanning entire branch of ancient tree

Tree Lungwort

Lobaria pulmonaria

Reindeer Moss
Small patch of jagged, white Reindeer Moss amongst bright green plants

Reindeer Moss

Cladonia rangiferina

Lords-and-Ladies

Arum maculatum

Lords and ladies plant.

Also often known as the ‘cuckoo pint’, a plant with shiny arrow shaped leaves often with dark spots.

The flower is designed to attract flies for pollination and club shaped spike releases a urine-like odour. Its fruit – a spike of bright orange berries – can be a common sight in woodlands in autumn. Like many wild berries these are toxic to humans so take care around them.

Where to find Lords-and-ladies

Lords-and-ladies are quite common throughout most of the UK.  Mostly in hedgerows and woodland areas. The exception is north and central Scotland.

Best time to see

It flowers in April and May, but is also a striking sight when its bright orange berries are in fruit in autumn.

Lord and ladies plant in a woodland area

Did you know?

The plant’s fascinating shape and form has inspired a wide variety of names.

These include:

  • Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • Soldier-in-a-sentry-box
  • Bloody man’s finger
  • the rather lengthy ‘Kitty-come-down-the-lane-jump-up-and-kiss-me’ (an old Kentish name).

Perhaps not surprisingly, many have rather bawdy associations.

Other Species

Bluebell
Bluebell close-up.

Bluebell

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

Bugle
A close up of a blue bugle plant.

Bugle

Ajuga reptans

Cowslip
Cowslip Close Up.

Cowslip

Primula Veris