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

Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus sensu Hesler & A.H. Sm. var. olivaceoalbus
sheathed 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 #18533)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus var. olivaceoalbus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus var. olivaceoalbus has a gray to dark brown fibrillose sheath underneath the slime on its stem, other features of var. olivaceoalbus include slimy, streaky cap that is dark brown to nearly black at center, paler (gray) toward margin, white gills that sometimes become grayish, slimy, white stem that is sheathed in lower part with blackish fibrils, association with spruce, and large spores; Harmaja (as quoted in Kernaghan(1)) states in 1985 that H. olivaceoalbus (Fr.) Fr. sensu Hesler & Smith does not fit the European concept of H. olivaceoalbus, but does fit the description of Hygrophorus korhonenii Harmaja (Karstenia 25: 42. 1985), Largent(4) notes that Hygrophorus persoonii Arnolds, described in 1979, which he considers common in coastal northwestern CA "has previously been identified as Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus var. olivaceoalbus in the past (e.g. in Hesler & Smith, 1963), but the neotype established by Arnolds (1979) characterizes H. olivaceoalbus as having long (xL of 11.5 microns or more), broad spores (7.4-8.6 microns), vacuolar pigmentation in the pileus cuticle, and a veil that breaks up into distinct, transverse bands on the stipe. An agaric with these features has yet to be collected for certain in California." (Latin names in italics, the 'x' underlined in xL which indicates the average spore length measurement from 15 spores); Breitenbach(3) describe the European species H. olivaceoalbus (Fr.: Fr.) Fr.; the Arora(1) description of Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus is not specific to the type variety; Hesler(1) examined collections of var. olivaceoalbus from OR, ID, and also QC, CA, CO, MI, NY, and Denmark, at least one variety of olivaceoalbus reported from BC (Paul Kroeger collections at University of British Columbia), reported by Kernaghan(1) from AB as H. korhonenii
3-8(12)cm across, "convex or with a somewhat pronounced umbo, often nearly flat when expanded"; "disc umber to black, the margin paler and dark to light ash-gray"; glutinous to viscid, conspicuously virgate [radially streaked] beneath gelatinous layer with smoke-gray to black fibrils, (Hesler), 3-12cm across, convex or broadly umbonate to more or less flat; "dark brown to nearly black at center, usually paler (grayish to olive-brown) toward the margin, and usually with a streaked appearance from darker fibrils", slimy or viscid when moist, (Arora)
thick on disc, soft; white, (Hesler), thick, soft; white, (Arora)
adnate to subdecurrent, close to subdistant, moderately broad, thickish; "pure white or somewhat ashy at the base", (Hesler), "adnate to decurrent, thick, soft, waxy"; "pure white or pallid, sometimes becoming grayish", (Arora)
8-12(15)cm x 1-3cm, club-shaped to equal, solid; white above the ring; sheathed to near the top with a double sheath, the outer layer glutinous, the inner of appressed blackish fibrils similar to those on cap, forming a zone or ring near the top, when old the sheath often breaking into dark, concentric, ragged bands over lower part, bald to pruinose above the ring, (Hesler), (3)5-12(15)cm x 1-3cm, equal or widening downwards; white above the ring; viscid to slimy (when moist) below ring and sheathed with dark fibrils that break up into patches or scaly rings, smooth above the ring, (Arora)
subfloccose [somewhat floccose], evanescent [fleeting], apical ring zone or submembranous ring, (Hesler), double-layered, the outer layer evanescent and depositing slime on stem, "the inner layer fibrillose and sometimes forming an obscure ring at top of fibrillose sheath", (Arora)
not distinctive (Hesler), mild (Arora)
not distinctive (Hesler)
Microscopic spores:
spores 9-12 x 5-6 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora), 9-12 x 5-6 microns, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 4-spored, 46-62 x 7-10 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia none; gill tissue divergent, hyphae 3-8 microns wide; cap cuticle a broad (250-450 microns) zone of gelatinous, repent, fuscous hyphae, 2-3 microns wide, an ixocutis; no hypodermium evident; cap trama of radial hyphae; clamp connections on cuticular hyphae, (Hesler)
Spore deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

cespitose [in tufts], gregarious, or scattered under Sequoia sempervirens (Redwood) and Picea (spruce), July to December, (Hesler), solitary, scattered, or in groups on ground under conifers (especially spruce), (Arora), summer, fall, winter

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Limacium olivaceoalbum (Fr. ex Fr.) P. Kumm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


bland and slimy (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Hesler(1)*, Arora(1), Phillips(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Stuntz(4), Kernaghan(1), Breitenbach(3)*, Largent(4), Trudell(4)*, Buczacki(1)*

References for the fungi

General References