Splendid Waxcap - Hygrocybe splendidissima

Description

Cap 5 to10cm across; initially conical, becoming shallowly convex or flattening, usually with a broad umbo; scarlet; smooth; dry or only very slightly greasy. A striking fungus when fresh, quite similar to Crimson Waxcap (Hygrocybe punicea).  Splendid Waxcap can be distinguished by its dry cap, the smell of honey that is given off when the fruitbodies are dried and it usually has a twisted stem that is slightly or markedly flattened , particularly near to the base, whereas the stem of Hygrocybe punicea is more or less round.

Similar Species

Similar to Crimson Waxcap (Hygrocybe punicea). Splendid Waxcap can be distinguished by its dry cap, the smell of honey that is given off when the fruitbodies are dried and it usually has a twisted stem that is slightly or markedly flattened , particularly near to the base, whereas the stem of Hygrocybe punicea is more or less round.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

Habitat

Closely cropped or mown grassland where artificial fertilisers are not spread. Often in damper areas. 

When to see it

August to November in Britain and Ireland.

Life History

Usually occurs in small groups rather than singly.

UK Status

Local and infrequent in many parts of Britain and Ireland, but there are several damp grassland and moorland sites in West Wales, in northern England, and in Scotland where it is more common.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map