Blackening Waxcap Hygrocybe conica




Scientific Name: Hygrocybe conica (Hygrophoraceae). 'Hygrocybe' means 'watery head', 'conica' means 'conical'. Syn Hygrophorus conicus.


English Name: Blackening Waxcap; Witch's Hat; Conical Waxcap; Conical Slimy Cap (Waxcap family).

French Name: L'Hygrophore conique (='the conical watery').

5 Key Characters:
  • caps turn black with age.
  • easy to see as their orange and black colouration stands out against their green moss and grass background.
  • very variable in colour and form but cap usually conical and coloured black and orange.
  • always appears wet or greasy. 
  • very long lasting, even after they have turned black.

Lookalikes: Other Hygrocybe spp turn black, but they don't last long.


Habitat: Moist shady road and track sides where there is moss and the grass is short. They only occur on 'unimproved' land with low nutrient content.


Fruiting Period: July-August-September-October-November.


Status: Very common (one of the most two most common waxcaps). Not considered edible.


Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Trackside in the Forêt de Preuilly.

In the Forêt de Preuilly.


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