Docums Mycol. 14(no. 56): 10. 1985.
Common Name: none
Synonyms: Hygrophorus pratensis (Pers.: Fr.) Fr., Hygrocybe pratensis (Pers.: Fr.) Murrill, Camarophyllus pratensis (Fr.) P. Kumm.
Fruiting body 3-7 cm broad, convex, expanding to nearly plane, slightly umbonate; margin entire or wavy; surface moist, smooth, pale orange to apricot-orange, sometimes spotted darker orange, fading when dry to pale-peach and becoming slightly fibrillose; flesh thick at the disc, otherwise thin, white, unchanging; odor mild, soap-like in one form; taste mild.
Gills subdecurrent, decurrent at maturity, broad, subdistant, thick, waxy, peach-buff, fading to cream-buff.
Stipe 2.5-7 cm tall, 1-2 cm thick, stuffed, equal to narrowed at the base; surface dry, smooth to fibrillose striate, pale peach; flesh white unchanging; veil absent.
Spores 5-7.5 x 4-5 µm, elliptical, oval, or nearly round, smooth, nonamyloid; spore print white.
Solitary to scattered in mixed hardwood/conifer woods, occasionally in grassy or open areas; fruiting from late fall to early spring.
Edible and very good, with a sweet flavor. Unfortunatly it is often maggot infected.
This handsome waxy cap is characterized by a dry, pale-orange pileus, decurrent gills and stipe. The color and stature are suggestive of Cantharellus cibarius, but the latter has ridges rather than true gills. Despite the species name which suggests a grassland habitat, California it's far more likely to be encountered in woodlands. A local form of this species has a sweet, soapy odor and in some years can be quite common.
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