Hygrocybe laetissima (Waxy Caps) (by Noah Siegel)

Mushroom of the Month: March, 2016

Hygrocybe laetissima 
As deep winter settles on the Redwood Coast, you’ll begin to notice many small red, orange and yellow Waxy Caps (Hygrocybe)sprinkled through the understory of redwood forests; beacons of color in the dark duff. California enjoys a great diversity of Waxy Caps, many of which have special affinity for Coast Redwood, California Bay-laurel and Monterey Cypress habitats. Unfortunately, we are using 'borrowed' European names for many of these lovely waxy caps, and as we continue to learn about our mycoflora, we are realizing that many of our species are distinct, and deserving of their own names.  

Spring Members Mushroom ID Classes (by )

Sorry Classes full

Phil Carpenter will be leading a series of Mushroom Identification classes. Please note that these classes are only open to current paid members. We will again hold the classes at the Natural History Museum on E. Cliff Dr. in Santa Cruz on the first and fourth Wednesday evenings of Feb. and March.The dates would therefore be Feb. 3, 24 and March 2, 23. The classes run 7-9 PM each of those dates. The classes are workshop, hands-on oriented with everyone working on identifying mushrooms brought to each session by attendees. We will be using the field guide, Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora as the class text. These classes are popular and fill up quickly so sign up soon if you would like to be included in the classes. 

Wavy Caps (Psilocybe cyanescens) (by Christian Schwarz)

Mushroom of the Month: February, 2016

The specimens in this photo show somewhat faded specimens. Note the wavy caps and blue stains on the stipe. Spore deposit is dark purplish-gray to very dark reddish-brown.


Psilocybe is primary genus of hallucinogenic mushrooms, containing such famous species as Liberty Caps (P. semilanceata), Cubes (P. cubensis), and the topic of this month’s article, Wavy Caps (P. cyanescens).

Almost always encountered on woodchips, Psilocybe cyanescens is an aggressive ruderal species, fond of disturbance in urban areas. It is especially common in the cold, wet winter months around the San Francisco Bay. Through a combinatin of unintentional and intentional transplantation by humans and natural dispersal, it has spread widely throughout the United States. In California, it occurs at least as far south as San Diego County, although it is fairly rare south of Santa Cruz County.

Honeys - Armillaria mellea (by Mark Benson)

Mushroom of the Month: January, 2016

(Reposted from posting on google groups with photos courtesy of Hugh Smith)

How about all this rain! 

Those were a beautiful display of Honey Mushrooms, Hugh!  Tight and turgid and just the right time to harvest.

Seeing them prompted me to write a few lines about Honeys not from any formal knowledge...but from my work experience and from 'experts' with whom I consulted for my clients in my work with trees.  I hope it is helpful to some of you.  I am not a scientist...just an observer.

January, 2016

"New Year's Boletus Edulius" by Jonathan O'Bergin

Best Photo
Date: January 02, 2016
ISO Speed: 160
Exposure: 0.03 sec
Focal Length: 5 mm
Aperture: f/3.2
Flash Used: No

First light is the time to get lucky.   Edulius in January?