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

Hygrophorus subalpinus A.H. Sm.
subalpine 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 #18466)

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Distribution of Hygrophorus subalpinus
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Species Information

told from other waxy caps by robust stature, whitish color, thick dry stem, the presence of a veil which often forms a ring, and the association with mountain conifers, (Arora); collections examined from WA, ID, and also CO, MI, WY, (Hesler), collections from BC at University of British Columbia
4-15(25)cm across, broadly convex becoming flat or slightly depressed; pure white, may develop a slight yellowish tinge when old; "viscid when moist but soon dry", smooth, "margin sometimes with veil remnants", (Arora), 4-6cm across, broadly convex becoming obtuse or flat, sometimes with slight umbo and the margin spreading or decurved [downcurved]; snow white, not discoloring appreciably; viscid, merely subviscid when old, pellicle (cap skin) thin and scarcely separable from flesh, opaque, with distinct luster, often having patches of broken veil adhering along margin, (Hesler)
thick, firm at first but soft when old; white, (Arora), thick (about 1cm near stem), soft; white, (Hesler)
typically adnate to decurrent, close, narrow, soft and/or waxy; white when young, often creamy or tinged dingy yellowish when old, (Arora), decurrent, close (68-113 reaching stem), one row of subgills, narrow, 0.3-0.4cm broad; colored as cap or a duller white; edges even, (Hesler)
3-10cm x 1-5(7)cm at top, "usually thick and stout, often with rounded basal bulb when young (but often more or less equal in age)", firm, solid; white; dry, (Arora), 3-4cm x 1-2cm, base bulbous when young, nearly equal when old, somewhat rounded beneath the bulb, solid; white; peronate [sheathed] "to the apex of the bulb" by a white membranous sheath that ends in a flaring submembranous to fibrillose inferior ring that is sometimes evanescent [fleeting], silky above, (Hesler)
somewhat membranous, disappearing or forming a narrow, flaring or flange-like, median to inferior ring on the stalk (just above the bulb), (Arora), no gelatinous universal veil evident, (Hesler)
mild (Arora, Hesler)
mild (Arora, Hesler)
Microscopic spores:
spores 8-10 x 4.5-6 microns, elliptic, smooth, (Arora), spores 8-10 x 4.5-5(6) microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 2-spored and 4-spored, 48-62 x 7-9 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia absent; gill tissue divergent; clamp connections present on cap trama hyphae, (Hesler)
Spore deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

single to gregarious on ground under conifers, known only from the mountains of western North America, (Arora), gregarious under conifers, June to October, (Hesler), summer, fall

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


poor texture and flavor (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Hesler(1)*, Arora(1), Trudell(4)*, Phillips(1)*, Ammirati(1)*, Stuntz(4), Largent(4), Miller(14)*, AroraPocket*

References for the fungi

General References