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

Hygrophorus pudorinus (Fr.) Fr.
spruce 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 #18457)

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Distribution of Hygrophorus pudorinus
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Species Information

features include robust stature, viscid, pinkish to pinkish-salmon or pale tan cap, waxy, whitish to pinkish gills and dry stem that is whitish to cap-colored and punctate at top; var. fragrans is large and tall with a tendency to stain yellow or orange when bruised, more colored gills and more frequently fragrant odor: cap size is 7-20cm for var. fragrans versus 5-10(12)cm for var. pudorinus, stem 10-20cm x 1.5-3.5cm for var. fragrans and 4-9cm x 1-2cm for var. pudorinus, gills are "pale pinkish buff" to "pale pinkish cinnamon" and "never truly white" for var. fragrans and "white to pallid or sometimes tinged pale incarnate" for var. pudorinus, odor is faintly fragrant for var. fragrans and not distinctive to slightly fragrant for var. pudorinus, (Hesler); there is also var. fragrans forma pallidus from CA with whitish colors (cap at first "warm buff" on disc and nearly white on margin, flesh white changing to delicate pink under cuticle and where injured, gills white, stem white with base staining rusty yellow), (Hesler); a var. subcinereus has been described from MI with cap pallid or with a cinereous [ash-gray] shade over the disc that fades to pale pinkish buff or pinkish buff, (Hesler); descriptions other than the one below derived from Hesler(1) are not specific for var. pudorinus forma pudorinus; Largent comments that the European concept of Hygrophorus pudorinus (Fr.)Fr. var. pudorinus includes a slightly viscid stem and an odor that is fragrant to slightly pungent or spicy, (Largent(4)), consequently some European authors consider var. pudorinus and var. fragrans to be synonyms; distribution of H. pudorinus is at least OR, ID, reported from WA by Jumpponen(1), collections from BC are at University of British Columbia and Pacific Forestry Center, and Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1) and Kernaghan(1) recorded it for AB: Hesler(1) examined collections for var. pudorinus from ON, QC, CA, CO, ID, ME, MI, NM, NY, OR, and Denmark, and for var. fragrans from CA, CO, and OR, Hygrophorus pudorinus also found elsewhere in Europe including Switzerland (Breitenbach(3)), CHEMICAL REACTIONS powder top of stem staining yellow-orange with KOH, (Arora)
5-10(12)cm across, convex to bell-shaped, obtuse or somewhat expanded, margin at first involute [inrolled]; pale tan to pinkish buff or pale flesh; viscid, bald, margin at first minutely white downy, even, (Hesler), 5-15(20)cm across, obtuse or convex with inrolled margin, becoming broadly convex or flat when old; "pale tan to pinkish or flesh-color or pinkish-orange toward the center and pinker or paler at the margin"; viscid when moist, smooth, (Arora), "comes in various color forms with some specimens being white or gray rather than tan to pinkish", (Ammirati)
thick, compact; white or tinged incarnate, (Hesler), thick, firm; white or tinged cap color, (Arora), flesh in cap and stem eventually become orange in var. fragrans forma fragrans, (Largent)
subdecurrent, acuminate, subdistant, narrow, thickish, sometimes forked, interveined; "white to pallid or sometimes tinged pale incarnate but never reddish-spotted", (Hesler), "adnate to decurrent, fairly close, soft, waxy"; "sometimes whitish but more often pinkish to pale flesh-color", not developing reddish stains, (Arora)
4-9cm x 1-2cm, equal or narrowing downward, stout, solid, compact; white to buff or incarnate tinged; dry, upper part white floccose-punctate, the scales or points becoming reddish when old or with drying, more or less appressed-fibrillose toward base, "typically dry but sometimes subviscid to the touch when the basal portion becomes water-soaked", (Hesler), 4-20cm x 1-3cm, equal or narrowed in lower part, solid; "whitish to buff or pinkish or colored like cap"; "dry to tacky but not truly viscid", lower part fibrillose, upper part conspicuously punctate (with tiny whitish scurfy scales or tufts that darken to reddish brown when dried or when old, and turn yellow-orange in KOH), (Arora), whitish with orange or pinkish streaks, sometimes twisted, (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)
absent (Arora)
not distinctive or slightly fragrant (but faintly fragrant in var. fragrans), (Hesler), mild to faintly fragrant (Arora), not distinctive or slightly fragrant for var. pudorinus; unpleasantly fragrant, at times faintly so, for var. fragrans forma fragrans
not distinctive (Hesler), unpleasant, like turpentine, (Phillips), may be bitter (Ammirati)
Microscopic spores:
spores 6.5-9.5 x 4-5.5 microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 2-spored and 4-spored, 41-62 x 5.5-7 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia absent; gill tissue divergent; clamp connections on hyphae of cuticle, cap trama, and gill trama, (Hesler), spores 6.5-9.5 x 4-5.5 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora)
Spore deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

scattered to gregarious in bogs or in mixed coniferous forests, (Hesler), scattered or in groups "on ground under conifers, particularly spruce", (Arora), grows "in boggy places in moss under conifers, mixed spruce and pine", (Schalkwijk-Barendsen), fall (Buczacki)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


yes but mediocre, some variants said to have turpentine taste, (Arora), not edible (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Hesler(1)* (colors in double quotation marks from Ridgway(1)), Arora(1)*, Phillips(1)*, Ammirati(1)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bessette(2)*, Barron(1)*, Stuntz(4), Kernaghan(1), Jumpponen(1), Breitenbach(3)*, Largent(4), Miller(14)*, Bu

References for the fungi

General References