Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Hygrocybe conica
There are 6 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hygrocybe conica
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
|gills on hymenium|
|cap is conical|
|hymenium is adnexed|
|stipe is bare|
|spore print is white|
|ecology is mycorrhizal|
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 actually be a complex of closely related and similar species.
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. Bruises black.
Distribution and habitat
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 actually a complex of closely related species, some of which are suspected of being poisonous. Though Hygrocybe conica does occur in Australia, principally near urban areas, many collections originally assigned to this species are actually 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.
- Nilsson, Sven & Persson, Olle (1977). Fungi of Northern Europe 2: Gill-Fungi. Penguin, New York. ISBN 0-14-063006-6.
- Young, A.M. (2005). Fungi of Australia: Hygrophoraceae. (Australian Biological Resources Study) CSIRO, Canberra, ACT. ISBN 0-643-09195-5.
- Mushroomexpert page on Hygrocybe conica
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