Parrot Waxcap

Gliophorus psittacinus

Cap: 1-4cm across  Stem: 2-5cm in length, 3-6mm diameter

‚ÄčStem: slimy when fresh, in young specimens the base is always yellow whilst the top half is green, the green fades as it matures sometimes leaving a totally yellow with just a hint of green at the stem apex.

Flesh: shows the same colours at the rest of the stem and cap, sometimes having much more of a white colour. No distinctive smell.

from the Greek Glio - meaning glue, and phoros - meaning bearing, glue bearing is a reference to the slimy nature of the mushroom

meaning parrot

Overall: a wonderfully coloured mushroom when young with rich greens and yellow, become more yellow with age. Common in parts of the UK but rather rare across the rest of Europe. Very slimy and young specimens can be well camouflaged in the grass.

Gills: widely spaced, yellow at base but more green nearer the cap. Usually one gill and then an interlocking one. The size of each gill is relatively large for the overall size of the mushroom.

Cap: begins emerald green and turns more and more yellow with age, sometimes it turns yellow from the centre outwards, other times it seems a bit more random. Caps that have been exposed to cold temperatures or too much rain can become slightly pink.

OVERALL: a stunning species and one that once seen is easy to identify. Young specimens have a strongly emerald green colour in the cap and stem, becoming more yellow as it matures. Very slimy sometimes making it quite difficult to pick up, though in dry weather this can disappear. Small specimens can be very difficult to see in amongst grass, the more mature yellow looking ones are usually what catch your attention.


HABITAT: prefers acidic or neutral grassland, can be quite common in higher areas, especially in Wales and the north of England. Often found in lawns and cemeteries.


DISTRIBUTION: Widespread across the UK, becoming more common in the upland areas.


SEASON: summer through to early winter.




EDIBILITY: Not Edible. Whilst some authors state they are edible, they are far too slimy and insubstantial to warrant picking for culinary uses, it is very uncertain if they would be edible anyway.


EASE OF IDENTIFICATION: its very slimy nature and green colour means there are no real species you could mistake this with. Aged or deteriorated specimens can begin to taken on pinkish hues.


SMELL: Not distinctive.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Some of the other yellow species of waxcap may look similar, but the Parrot Waxcap always has a green tinge in the cap or at the very apex of the stem, this should help clinche the identification.


SYNOYNMS: Hygrocybe psittacina (Schaeff.) P. Kumm. Agaricus psittacinus Schaeff., Hygrocybe psittacina var. psittacina, Hygrophorus psittacinus (Schaeff.) Fr.

Tel. 07533 132 129 


Manchester, Cheshire, Deeside & North Wales

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