The Santa Cruz Mycoflora Project

A Comprehensive Reference to the Macrofungi of Santa Cruz County

Genus: Hygrophorus

Family: Hygrophoraceae

Hygrophorus agathosmus

Hygrophorus agathosmus

Hygrophorus agathosmus Hygrophorus camarophyllus Hygrophorus eburneus Hygrophorus gliocyclus
Hygrophorus pusillus Hygrophorus roseibrunneus

Known Species in the County

Approximately 12 species in Santa Cruz County.

Hygrophorus Records from Santa Cruz County:

Hygrophorus are the duller, larger cousins of the more brightly colored waxy caps (Hygrocybe etc.). Although separating them from Tricholoma and other fleshy white-spored genera can be can be subtle, a distinctive gestalt emerges. The thick, waxy, more or less widely-spaced gills, broadly attached (but not usually strongly notched/sinuate) gills, and growth with ectomycorrhizal trees are helpful general features of the genus. In other respects Hygrophorus are variable - some have fibrillose partial veils (usually appearing as an evanescent cortina or leaving a ring zone, but never a membranous ring), some are dry-capped while others are viscid, some are dull while others are quite brightly pigmented. All are ectomycorrhizal, occurring with conifers and hardwoods, primarily in forest settings. A few species are known to be edible (and none are thought to be seriously toxic), but none are particularly popular in our area.

Most diverse in the conifer-dominated bioregion to the north, but a fair assortment occurs in our county (including some fairly restricted Live-oak species).

Important identification characters are: coloration, texture of the cap and stipe surface, host tree, odor, and KOH reactions.

* This species may occur in the county but no verifiable collection has been made.