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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!

01 January, 2012

Parrot Wax Cap (Hygrocybe psittacina)

Amongst fungi enthusiasts I guess wax caps are the inequivalent orchids to botanists and raptors to bird watchers. I have no idea why this is called the Parrot toadstool or wax cap. The bright colour perhaps?

I find fungi in general hard to identify so a distinctive one comes as a bonus. The bright yellow colour and waxy finish to the cap make this quite distinctive although there are a couple of similar close relatives but they seem to be much, much rarer.

The Parrot Wax Cap is not uncommon, described by Roger Phillips as 'occasional', and is found on grassy areas on downs and on heaths which ties in with the two places I found it this year, Hartland Moor (heath) and Durlston (downs).

Apparently an edible toadstool but it a bit unpleasant as it tastes as slimy as it looks.