(Arched Wood Wax)
North America, Europe
Cap 2-7 cm diameter, stem 2.5 - 13 cm tall * 1 - 2 cm thick
This medium-sized agaric is distinct because of the dry, streaked cap, white, waxy gills that develop gray tones in age, and contrast beautifully with the carbon-brown cap and stem.
Cap umbonate and often with a raised boss in center of cap, carbon-brown to gray-black with dark radial streaks. Gills decurrent, sparse, waxy, first white, with age white-gray. Stem top often brighter than other stem but not always, otherwise greyish with ingrown threads, cylindrical or narrowed downward, solid to stuffed. Flesh white, brittle, with mild flavor and pleasant aroma.
Grows in mossy pine forests all over Scandinavia. Has a fairly modest taste but still a delicacy.
Similar species Hygrophorus calophyllus has a slimy viscid, evenly pigmented cap, pink gills, and broadly ellipsoid spores. Hygrophorus marzuolus, which fruits almost exclusively in spring near melting snow, differs primarily in having a viscid cap (when wet) and an unpleasant, mouse cage-like odor.