Hygrocybe psittacina

4 years ago by in Featured, Systematics and Taxonomy, Systematics and Taxonomy

3Hygrocybe psittacina, commonly known as the Parrot Toadstool or Parrot Waxcap, is a colourful member of the genus Hygrocybe, the waxcaps, found across Northern Europe. Originally described as Hygrophorus psittacinus, there have been at least two subspecies described, H. psittacina var. psittacina and H. psittacinavar. perplexa, which was initially described as a separate species H. perplexa. The clade it forms within the Hygrophoraceae has been erected to restore the genusGliophorus Herink 1958, thus the name becomes Gliophorus psittacinus (Schaeff.) Herink 1958.


The Parrot Toadstool is a small mushroom, with a convex to umbonate cap 1–3 centimetres (⅓–1 in) in diameter, which is green when young and later yellowish or even pinkish tinged. The 2–4 cm stipe is green to greenish yellow. The broad adnategills are greenish with yellow edges and spore print white. The green colouring persists at the stem apex even in old specimens.

Its odour and taste are not distinctive. There are no known chemical tests.

It fruits late summer to autumn (September to November)

Distribution and Habitat

H. psittacina var. psittacina is widely distributed in grasslands in Western Europe, Iceland, Greenland, the Americas, South Africa and Japan, being found in late summer and autumn. In Europe it is apparently in decline due to the degradation of habitats. Early Australian records of this form have been found to be the similar green toadstools Hygrocybe graminicolor orH. stevensoniae on reexamination.

H. psittacina var. perplexa has been recorded in Western Europe, the Americas and Japan as well as one Australian record in Eastern Victoria.

It is found in small trooping groups amongst short mown or cropped grass.

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