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Snowy Waxcap - Cuphophyllus virgineus

Snowy Waxcap - Cuphophyllus virgineus

Main features

  • Fruits Autumn to Winter

  • Grows in grazed or mown grassland

  • Found as individuals or in large numbers

  • Smells mild

  • Cap creamy-white in colour

  • Cap starts off convex and often has a broad umbo 

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

  • Cap is 2-5cm wide

  • White stem with no skirt or ring

  • Stem is 0.2-0.6cm wide and up to 5cm tall

  • Gills are white, thick and widely spaces

  • Gills are decurrent 

  • Flesh is white

  • Spore print is white

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Snowy Waxcap - Cuphophyllus virgineus

Edible mushroom - intermediate

Other common names: White Waxycap


Scientific name meaning: The genus name comes from the Greek words Kyphos and Phyllon, meaning curved leaves. Virgineus is Latin and means maidenly or belonging to a virgin

Season - when will I find it? Autumn to Winter

Habitat - where will I find it? The Snowy 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 has a mycorrhizal relationship with mosses. It can be found as individual specimens or in large numbers

Cap: The creamy white cap is convex at first, then flattening and turning up at the edge with age. It often has a broad umbo (bump) and is 2-5cm in diameter. It feels greasy to the touch

Gills: The white gills are widely spaced (distant) and thick. They are interspersed with smaller gills from the cap edge and are decurrent

Flesh: White 

Stem: Delicate, often curved, 2-5cm tall and 0.2-0.5mm wide. It is white, sometimes darker at the base, and 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

Use as a food The Snowy Waxcap is a good tasting that should be cooked. 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!

Snowy Waxcap - Cuphophyllus virgineus - gills
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