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Hygrophorus hypothejus   (Late Fall Wax Cap)
North America, Europe
Cap 3-7 cm diameter, stem 4-7 cm tall * 0.7-1.4 cm thick

Hygrophorus hypothejus, also known as Late Fall Wax Cap, is a smallish, slimy agaric that has a dull brown cap and distinctive yellowish gills and stem. It grows scattered or in groups on soil under conifers, common under 2-needle pines from late autumn to winter.

Cap first convex and then flat. Dull olive-brown coloured and center are darker and often concave. The margins stay rolled in for some time. It is covered with a thick, glassy layer of slime, disappearing with age. It becomes very sticky in damp weather. Gills goes down the stem and are sparse and elastic. At first mild vanilla to butter yellow coloured, and turns orange as mature. Spores are white. Stem is pallid yellow, sometimes tinged with orange, tall and usually thin, more or less equal or tapering slightly downwards. The mushroom has no ring, but it has a superior ring-like swelling. It is sticky below that zone.

Similar species include Hygrophorus locorum which is bright yellow and associated with larch. Several other Hygrophorus species, found with pine, are distinguished from Hygrophorus hypothejus by their different colouring.

Hygrophorus hypothejus on the web site.

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