27 November 2016 Exbury Gardens, Hampshire. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin.
Crimson Wax Cap
Conical to bell shaped, becoming flattened with age, usually with a central bump, surface viscid to slippery, bright red, sometimes with pale areas, often with faint radial lines at the margin, to about 10 cm across
Distant, broad, adnate to emarginate, reddish with a yellow margin
Dry, fibrous, yellow, orange yellow or orange red, to about 2 cm across and 12 cm high
Pale yellow, fibrous in the stem, white in the stem base
Spores ellipsoidal, often constricted, smooth (8.5-11) x (5-6) µm2
Edible, but should not be collected due to rarity
This beautiful fungus is distinguished from most Hygrocybe species by its large size. It could be confused with H. splendidissima, but is separated by its greasy cap, fibrous stem, the presence of some constricted spores, and absence of the smell of honey from drying and dried specimens.
November 1998 Sussex. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin.