Hygrocybe conica, commonly known as the witch's hat, conical wax cap or conical slimy cap, is a colourful member of the genus Hygrocybe (the waxcaps), found across northern Europe and North America. Originally described as Hygrophorus conicus, it may be a complex of closely related and similar species.
the witch's hat - Netherlands
|gills on hymenium|
|cap is conical|
|hymenium is adnexed|
|stipe is bare|
|spore print is white|
|ecology is mycorrhizal|
The witch's hat is a small mushroom, with a convex to conical yellow-orange to red cap 2 to 5 cm (¾-2 inches) in diameter, though very occasionally larger specimens up to 8 or 9 cm (3½ in) diameter are found. It turns black when cut or bruised.
Distribution and habitatEdit
The witch's hat is widely distributed in grasslands and conifer woodlands across North America, Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand, being found in summer and autumn. It is likely that what is currently termed Hygrocybe conica is a complex of closely related species, some of which are suspected of being poisonous. Though Hygrocybe conica occurs in Australia, principally near urban areas, many collections originally assigned to this species are the similar Hygrocybe astatogala.
The edibility or otherwise of Hygrocybe conica is unclear. Its small size and being coated in a sticky substance render it of limited palatability anyway, however there is a report of poisoning from China in the early part of the 20th century which was allegedly from this species.
- Schaeffer, Julius C. (1774). Fungorum qui in Bavaria et Palatinatu circa Ratisbonam nascuntur Icones (in Latin). 4. Regensburg: Apud J.J. Palmium. p. 2.
- Kummer P. (1871). Der Führer in die Pilzkunde (in German). Zerbst: C. Luppe. p. 111.
- Nilsson S, Persson O (1977). Fungi of Northern Europe 2: Gill-Fungi. New York, New York: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-063006-0.
- Young AM (2005). Fungi of Australia: Hygrophoraceae. Canberra, ACT: (Australian Biological Resources Study) CSIRO. ISBN 978-0-643-09195-5.
- Kuo M. "Hygrocybe conica". Mushroomexpert. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hygrocybe conica.|
- "Fungus of the Month for October 2001: Hygrocybe conica, the witch's hat mushroom" by Tom Volk, TomVolkFungi.net.