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Summary: Hygrocybe psittacina is distinguished when young and fresh by its glutinous green cap and stem. Cap margins are translucent-striate when moist. Gills are adnate, well-spaced, waxy and at least when young they are green. Var. californicus from CA (rare) is distinguished by blue colors and larger basidia. Hygrocybe psittacina is fairly common in the Pacific Northwest. Hesler(1) give the distribution as BC, WA, OR, and also NS, ON, CA, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, TN, and Europe (including Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands), (Hesler(1)). It is also found in Switzerland (Breitenbach(3)).
Cap: 1-3cm across, bell-shaped or convex to broadly umbonate or flat; 'color extremely variable: at first dark green to bright green or olive-green, but soon fading to some shade of yellow, pink, orange, rufous, vinaceous, ochre-buff, tawny, etc.'; 'slimy or viscid when moist, usually shiny when dry', smooth, margin translucent-striate when moist, (Arora), 1-3cm across, conic to bell-shaped or finally convex to flat, sometimes remaining umbonate; dark green or "parrot green" when young and fresh, soon fading to 'ochraceous buff, rufous, tawny, pinkish flesh color, yellow ocher, sordid yellowish, or olivaceous orange, usually drying bright pale incarnate'; glutinous or viscid, appearing varnished when dry; translucent-striate at first, opaque when faded, (Hesler)
Flesh: thin, soft, waxy', (Arora), thin, fragile; colored as cap surface, (Hesler)
Gills: adnate to very slightly decurrent, but sometimes seceding', 'well-spaced, soft, thick, waxy'; at first greenish then fading like cap (but often yellower or redder), 'often retaining slight greenish tints', (Arora), adnate, subdistant, narrow to broad; "light celandine green" at first, soon reddish or "cadmium yellow" to "light cadmium"; edges even, (Hesler)
Stem: 2-6(8)cm x 0.2-0.5cm, equal or widening downward, hollow; 'greenish when young but soon fading to yellow or cap color'; 'smooth, very slimy or viscid when moist', (Arora); 3-7cm x 0.2-0.5cm, equal or widening slightly downward, hollow; green in upper part or almost overall when very young, soon changing to yellow or orange, when old pink like cap; slimy-viscid throughout its length, (Hesler)
Veil: absent (Arora)
Odor: mild (Arora), not distinctive (Hesler)
Taste: not distinctive (Hesler)
Microscopic spores: spores 6.5-10 x 4-6 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora), spores 6.5-8(10) x 4-5(6) microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 2-spored and 4-spored, 28-46 x 6-8 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia not differentiated; gill tissue subparallel or very slightly interwoven; clamp connections none or rare on hyphae of epicutis, more frequently present at base of basidium, (Hesler)
Spore deposit: white (Arora)
Habitat / Range
single to scattered or in small groups 'in damp soil, moss, humus, etc.', (Arora), gregarious to scattered "in coniferous and deciduous woods, in pastures, and along roadsides", (Hesler), summer to fall (Buczacki), spring, summer, fall, winter
Hygrocybe laeta also varies in color but has green confined to gills and stem top, is never green when young, and usually has decurrent gills. (Dried specimens may be indistinguishable as all green color is gone.) Hygrocybe virescens is rare - 1) it is moist but not viscid (microscopically has a non-gelatinous cuticle), 2) the green color develops as the fruitbody matures, whereas H. psittacina has the green pigment present in young buttons, and 3) H. virescens dries near warm buff, whereas H. psittacina usually dries bright pale incarnate, (Hesler).
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
15/09/2019 1:02:37 AM
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