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

Hygrophorus hypothejus (Fr.) Fr.
olive-brown waxy-cap

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #18450)

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Distribution of Hygrophorus hypothejus
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Species Information

Features include 1) viscid or slimy cap that is yellow brown to greenish yellow with dark brown to olive-brown center, or sometimes olive-brown overall, or (especially near the margin when old) developing orange tones, 2) decurrent, subdistant to distant gills that are white, then pale yellow, then colored like cap margin, 3) glutinous stem that is silky yellowish above the fleeting ring zone, and variously colored below it, and 4) preference for pine habitat. It is fairly common. "H. hypothejus is our most common Hygrophorus under two-needle pines during wet weather in the fall." (Hesler, with Latin names in italics). H. hypothejus was reported from BC by Bandoni(1). Hesler(1) examined collections from WA, OR, ID, and also AL, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, MA, MI, NC, NY, TN, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom. Breitenbach(3) reported it from Switzerland.
2-8cm across, convex to broadly umbonate, flat or depressed; color variable, typically dark brown to olive-brown at center and greenish yellow to yellow ocher at margin when young (but sometimes entirely olive-brown), often developing yellow-orange to reddish-orange tones when old, especially near margin; viscid or slimy when wet, smooth, (Arora), 2-8cm across, slightly umbonate, then may become convex to flat, sometimes with elevated margin; '"bone brown" to "olive brown" on disc, elsewhere "pale dull green-yellow," "yellow ocher," "buckthorn brown," or "Vandyke brown", colors becoming brighter in age ("straw yellow" to "ochraceous orange" or occasionally "scarlet" in extreme age near the margin), disc remaining more or less dark olive brown'; glutinous, bald or somewhat agglutinated-fibrillose near margin, (Hesler)
thin; yellowish to whitish, (Arora), thin; yellowish near cap surface, watery whitish above gills, in stem whitish but yellowish near exterior, (Hesler)
decurrent or occasionally adnate, well-spaced, thick, soft, waxy; "at first pallid but soon becoming pale yellow", and when old sometimes brightly colored like cap margin, (Arora), decurrent, subdistant to distant, narrow to moderately broad; white at first but soon becoming pale yellow, and finally more or less colored as cap margin, (Hesler)
(3)5-15cm x 0.5-1.5(2)cm, equal or narrowing downward; yellow at top, "otherwise pallid or variously colored (like cap)"; viscid or slimy when moist, (Arora), (2.5)8-16cm x (0.3)0.6-1.2(1.5)cm, narrowing slightly downwards, solid; upper area yellowish, lower part variously colored, olive brown, olivaceous yellow, bright yellow, orange, or scarlet; glutinous in lower two thirds, upper area silky, subapical fibrillose, fleeting ring zone, (Hesler)
evanescent [fleeting], leaving slime on stem and sometimes an obscure fibrillose ring, (Arora), partial veil floccose and leaving subapical, fibrillose, evanescent ring zone, (Hesler)
mild (Arora), not distinctive (Hesler)
not distinctive (Hesler)
Microscopic spores:
spores 7-9 x 4-5 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora), spores 7-9 x 4-5 microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 4-spored, 42-60 x 6-7 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia none; gill tissue divergent; clamp connections present in cap cuticle and gill trama, (Hesler)
Spore deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

scattered to gregarious or in troops under conifers particularly Pinus (pine), (Arora), gregarious under conifers, June to December, (Hesler), scattered to numerous, "in bogs and under conifers, often 2-needle pines", (Lincoff), summer, fall, winter

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hydrocybe arenicola Murrill
Hygrophorus subpustulatus (Murrill) Murrill

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


bland (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Hesler(1) (colors individually in quotation marks from Ridgway(1)), Arora(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Kibby(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bessette(2)*, Barron(1)*, Stuntz(4), Bandoni(1), Breitenbach(3)*, Trudell(4)*, Bacon(1)*, Buczacki(1)*

References for the fungi

General References