Scarlet Waxy Cap

(Hygrocybe coccinea)

Conservation Status
Scarlet Waxy Cap
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Scarlet Waxy Cap is a colorful, medium-sized gill mushroom. It is widespread and common in western Europe, Scandinavia, and eastern North America. It is often confused with similar, and similarly named, Scarlet Waxy Cap. In summer and fall it is found on the ground in woodlands alone, scattered, or in groups.

The cap can be to 2 in diameter, though it is usually no more than 1¼ in diameter. It is convex and deep red, blood red, or bright red at first. As it matures it fades somewhat or develops orangish-red streaks or splotches, and becomes bell-shaped then almost flat, sometimes with a slightly raised bump in the middle (umbonate).

The stalk is slender, hollow, 1¼ to 2¾ long, and to 5 16 thick. It is mostly red, the same color as the cap, fading to reddish orange to yellow at the base. It sometimes appears white at the base due to a covering of thread-like cells (mycelium). It is not covered with hair-like fibers (fibrillose).

The gills are thick, soft, and waxy. They are broadly attached to the stalk. They may be reddish, orange, or red with yellow edges.

The flesh is thin, reddish to orange, and waxy. It is edible but should be avoided due to its similarity to the poisonous Crimson Waxcap.

The sport print is white.


Similar Species


Crimson Waxcap (Hygrocybe punicea) is much more common. The cap is larger, 1 to 4¾ or more in diameter. It becomes shiny and slippery or slimy when wet. The stalk is thicker, 3 16 to ¾ in diameter, usually yellow, sometimes red fading to yellow or orange, and often fibrillose. It is usually whitish at the base.

Witch’s Hat (Hygrocybe conica) cap is more pointed. As it ages it retains the pointed umbo. It fades to black as it ages or when handled. The stalk is often yellow.

Habitat and Hosts





Summer and fall


Distribution Map



4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.




Widespread and common in western Europe, Scandinavia, and eastern North America

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Hygrophorineae  
  Family Hygrophoraceae  
  Subfamily Hygrocyboideae  
  Tribe Hygrocybeae  
  Genus Hygrocybe (waxcaps)  
  Subgenus Pseudohygrocybe  
  Section Coccineae  
  Subsection Coccineae  


  Hygrophorus coccineus  

Common Names


Righteous Red Waxy Cap

Scarlet Hood

Scarlet Waxy Cap

Scarlet Waxy Cap










On mushrooms, covered with fine hair-like fibers.



The vegetative part of a fungus; consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae, through which a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment; and excluding the fruiting, reproductive structure.



On mushrooms, having a distinct, raised, knob-like projection in the center of the cap.

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    Scarlet Waxy Cap   Scarlet Waxy Cap  
    Scarlet Waxy Cap   Scarlet Waxy Cap  








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Other Videos
  Wilgotnica szkarłatna Hygrocybe coccinea

Published on Sep 22, 2012

Status na Czerwonej Liście: R - rzadki




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Location: Fairview Twp.

Scarlet Waxy Cap  

Location: Fairview Township

Scarlet Waxy Cap  







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