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Summary: features include white, very slimy cap, decurrent white gills, and slimy white stem; a variety carneipes has been described with slightly flesh tint of gills and stem; Hygrophorus eburneus common, found BC, WA, OR, ID, Hesler(1) examined collections from BC, ON, QC, CA, ID, MA, MI, NC, OR, TN, WA, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland
Cap: 2-7(10)cm across, obtuse to convex becoming broadly umbonate to flat or uplifted, margin at first inrolled; "pure white or sometimes slightly yellowish in old age or occasionally with small pinkish spots"; extremely slimy or viscid when wet, (Arora), 2-7(10)cm across, obtuse to convex, then flat or umbonate, when old the margin sometimes elevated; pure white, drying whitish or yellowish; glutinous to viscid, bald or with white-shining silkiness, margin even and at first floccose-pubescent, (Hesler)
Flesh: soft; white, (Arora), thick at center of cap, thin toward margin; white, (Hesler)
Gills: adnate to decurrent, well-spaced, thick, soft, waxy; "pure white to very slightly yellowish in old age", (Arora), somewhat arcuate [arched] at first, soon decurrent, subdistant to distant, moderately broad, broadest near stem; pure white, slightly yellowish or buff when old and when dried, (Hesler), thick but thin-edged, (Lincoff(2))
Stem: 4-15(18)cm x 0.3-1(2)cm, equal or narrowing downward, usually rather slender; pure white, but sometimes discoloring slightly yellowish or pinkish when old; slimy-viscid when moist, smooth or with punctate top, (Arora), 4.5-15(18)cm x 0.2-0.8(1.5)cm, equal to narrowing somewhat downward, or with greatly narrowed almost vermiform [worm-like] base, flexuous [wavy], stuffed then hollow; pure white, at times becoming sordid when old; "glutinous, silky beneath the gluten, apex fibrillose, punctate or minutely squamulose", (Hesler), slightly twisted, (Phillips)
Veil: evanescent [fleeting], depositing slime on stem, (Arora)
Odor: mild (Arora, Hesler), faint but pleasant (Phillips), strong sage odor which lingers on the fingers (Lincoff(1))
Taste: mild (Hesler), mild but pleasant (Phillips), sage (Lincoff(1))
Microscopic spores: spores 6-9 x 3.5-5 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora), spores 6-8(9) x 3.5-5 microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 4-spored, 42-52 x 6-8 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia absent; gill tissue divergent; clamp connections present, (Hesler)
Spore deposit: white (Arora)
Habitat / Range
scattered to gregarious or in tufts on ground under hardwoods or conifers, (Arora), on soil, "mostly in coniferous woods, thickets, and grassy areas", (Hesler), fall (Buczacki)
none of Hygrophorus niveus, Hygrocybe virginea, Hygrophorus piceae, or Hygrophorus borealis have both slimy-viscid cap and slimy-viscid stem; Hygrophorus chrysaspis has gills that, on drying, become reddish brown and the cap brownish and often the disc blackish (older specimens of H. eburneus may dry yellowish or sordid instead of white and overheated specimens have other color changes), (Hesler); Hygrophorus cossus differs only in its pale pinkish buff cap and gills, and a distinctive aromatic odor, (Miller); like H. chrysodon with its yellow granules washed off, but H. chrysodon more slender with cap not very viscid and not darkening beyond cream color, merely mushroomy odor
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. 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:
2020-07-11 11:50:40 AM
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