If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

My photo

I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

04 January, 2012

Blackening Wax Cap (Hygrocybe nigrescens)

A conical shaped toadstall emerging from grass displaying a distinctly shining surface to the cap indicates a wax cap or Hygrocybe species.

This one, found up on the Purbeck Ridge in early autumn, is indeed a wax cap. It starts off with this beautiful maroon coloured cap but it quickly ages and becomes black and so has earned itself the common name of the Blackening Wax Cap.

No wax cap is particularly common which always makes finding one a bit special and this one is described in my guide as being 'occassional'. There were only a couple appearing in the rough pasture up on the ridge which would seem to be the ideal sort of place to find them. I have also seen the in Kent, above the white cliffs but that doesn't count in the nature of Dorset!

Supposedly edible but only if picked when newly emerging but surely best left alone to display their early beauty to others?