Snowy Waxcap (Hygbrocybe virgineus – Cuphophyllus virgineus) – Identification

Snowy waxcap / Autumn / Winter / Edible

Scientific Name

Hygbrocybe virgineus


Family

Hygrophoraceae


Habitat

In short grass in fields, meadows or commons.


Description

A bright white common Waxcap it prefers undisturbed land although 


Identifying Features for Snowy Waxcap:


Cap:

White to ivory white. Starting convex becoming depressed in the middle. As the cap matures the colour generally goes to grey

NobbiP, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem:

White and thin tapering towards the base 


Gills:

The gills are white, widely spaced and decurrent (running down the stem) with veins or very small gills between the main ones.

Decurrent Gill
Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Smell:

Indistinct mushroomy smell


Spores:

White Spores


Uses

This is a tasty edible waxcap that can be used in cooking. It has no know medicinal uses.


In food

Good mushroomy taste however the flesh is quite thin except for the very peak of the cap.


Harvesting

Found July through to November in open pasture or mature grasslands


Known hazards

Extreme care should be taken with all white mushrooms as some of the most deadly poisonous mushrooms are white with white gills. You must ensure that you are 100 percent that what you have in front of you is definitely a Snowy Waxcap.


Potential lookalikes

The Fools funnel ( Clitocybe rivulosa/dealbata) can look very similar to the Snowy Waxcap. however, looking at the gills of the Fools Funnel you will see they are quite crowded and not toothed like the Snowy Waxcap. The Cedar Waxcap may also be a close lookalike to the Snowy Waxcap however the colour is not as brilliantly white as the Snowy and is more cream grey.

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