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Meadow Waxcap - Cuphophyllus pratensis

Meadow Waxcap - Cuphophyllus pratensis

Main features

  • Fruits Autumn to Winter

  • Grows in grazed or mown grassland

  • Found as individuals or in large numbers

  • Smells mild

  • Cap buff to orange-red in colour

  • Cap starts off convex or bell-shaped and often has a broad umbo 

  • Cap flattens with age and eventually turns up at the edge

  • Cap is 2-7cm wide

  • White stem turning buff to peach with age

  • No skirt or ring

  • Stem is 1-1.5cm wide and up to 5cm tall

  • Gills start of white and turn buff to peach with age

  • Gills are decurrent and widely spaced

  • Spore print is white

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Meadow Waxcap - Cuphophyllus pratensis

Edible mushroom - novice

Other common names: Salmon Waxycap, Meadow Waxycap, Butter Meadowcap


Scientific name meaning: The genus name comes from the Greek words Kyphos and Phyllon, meaning curved leaves. Pratensis is Latin and means growing in a meadow

Season - when will I find it? Autumn to Winter

Habitat - where will I find it? The Meadow Waxcap is a grassland mushroom, and particularly likes cut or grazed grass that has not been treated with lots of fertiliser

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: Thought to be saprobic for a long time, it is now thought this mushroom as a mycorrhizal relationship with mosses. It can be found as individual specimens or in large numbers

Cap: Convex to bell-shaped at first, then flattening and turning up at the edge with age. It often has a broad umbo (bump). The colour is buff to orange-red, and pales with ages. It is 2-7cm in diameter and smooth to the touch when dry. When wet, the cap feels waxy 

Gills: The gills start off almost white, turning buff to peach with age. They are decurrent (run down the stem), widely spaced (distant), thick and broad. They are interspersed with smaller gills from the cap edge and cross-connected. 

Flesh: White to buff to peach

Stem: Solid and stout, becoming hollow with age. It starts off white, but turns to a buff-peach with age. It is around 1-1.5cm wide and up to 5cm tall. It has no ring or skirt

Smell: Mild

Spore colour: White

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with seriously toxic Deadly Funnel (Clitocybe dealbata) or Fool's Funnel (Clitocybe rivulosa), which both grow in rings in grassland. However, these both have more crowded gills and pale buff to white caps

Use as a food The Meadow Waxcap is a good tasting mushroom that holds its texture well upon cooking. It usually has a high water content, so can be cooked without an oil or fat

Use in medicine None known. Please let us know if you know of any

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards This mushroom can grow on roadside grass verges where it can accumulate traffic-related toxins. It is advisable to avoid harvesting from the sides of busy roads

Importance to other species None known. Please let us know if you know of any

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

Meadow Waxcap - Cuphophyllus pratensis - gills
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