E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hygrocybe psittacina (Fr.) P. Kumm.
parrot waxy-cap

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© May Kald  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #22429)

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Distribution of Hygrocybe psittacina
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Species Information

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)).
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)
thin, soft, waxy', (Arora), thin, fragile; colored as cap surface, (Hesler)
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)
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)
absent (Arora)
mild (Arora), not distinctive (Hesler)
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

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hygrophorus psittacinus (Fr.) Fr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


yes but slimy (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Hesler(1)* (as Hygrophorus, colors in double quotation marks from Ridgway(1)), Arora(1)*, Lincoff(2)* (as Hygrophorus), Lincoff(1)* (as Hygrophorus), Miller(14)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Kibby(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bessette(2)* (as Hygrophorus), Barro

References for the fungi

General References