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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!

02 January, 2012

Wax Cap Fungus (Hygrocybe spadicea)

The wax cap fungi belong to a family called 'Hygrocybe'. In their early stages specimens of this family often start with this distinctive conical shape and the cap is generally shiny giving the familiar name of wax cap.

Wax caps, in general, are not common and this particular species which I found at Durlston this autumn (2011) is decidedly uncommon being found only in pastures on limestone or basalt. Pasture on limestone is exactly what you find on the Dorset coast.

I have no idea whether it is edible but as it is such an attractive toadstool I think it is better left for others to see rather than to pick it for the table, there are plenty of mushrooms in your local supermarket to eat!