The Fawn Wax Cap (Hygrophorus penarius Fr.) is a basidiomycete mushroom of the family Hygrophoraceae.
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Fungi, Phylum Basidiomycota, Class Basidiomycetes, Order Agaricales, Family Hygrophoraceae and therefore to the Genus Hygrophorus and to the Specie H. penarius.
The term Hygrophorus comes from the Greek ὐγρός hygrόs, moist and from φορέω phoréo to carry, to have: that is, which collects and conserves moisture. The specific epithet penarius comes from pénus provision: for its good edibility.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Fawn Wax Cap is a fungus that grows in broad-leaved woods, especially under oak trees and bears fruit during the autumn.
The Hygrophorus penarius is recognized for a cap of variable size of 2-13 (20) cm, which is from hemispheric to campanulate, convex, flat, depressed, with obtuse umbone and excess involute margin and jagged; the cuticle is smooth and dry, but slightly viscid if moist, finely fibrillated and velvety, cream-ocher to the disc, progressively lightening towards the edge up to ivory white. The hymenophore consists of lamellae adnate or sub-decorrenti, thick, sinuous, low and spaced, venous joint, of ivory cream color with wrinkled surface. The stem is 5-9 × 1-3 cm, sub-cylindrical conical, always attenuated at the base. It is firm, full and then hollow, fibrillose and dry, just slimy in wet weather conditions; on a creamy-yellow background, small ochraceous scales can be noticed. The meat is firm and consistent with a creamy-white color, a little ocher at the base, with a nil flavor, sometimes slightly bitter and with a grateful, fungal smell; rubbing the slats, sometimes you can perceive as smell of boiled milk, butter. Under the microscope, buckle joints are seen on the whole carpophore; the spores are smooth, elliptic-ovoid of 6-9 × 4-5.5 μm mono guttulate and with great apiculture; the basidia are of 40-55 × 7-9 μm, subclaviform, slender tetrasporici or bisporici; epicute: ixotricoderma with erect ife 40-100 × 2-5 μm.
Hygrophorus penarius is not a cultivated fungus.
Uses and Traditions –
The Fawn Wax Cap is considered the best among the edible hygrophores. Its hard-boiled meat is of excellent taste, allowing consumption in various ways, especially in oil. There is a similar species, colored with purple veins (Hygrophorus russula) that shares its gastronomic characteristics.
It can be confused with the Hygrophorus penarius Fries var. Becker barbatulum which differs however from the pubescent pubic margin when young and the exclusive habitat under Beech; in the presence of adult specimens and the symbiotic plant is not known, it is almost impossible to determine them.
Preparation Mode –
The Fawn Wax Cap is a fungus of good edibility that can be prepared in various ways and preserved above all in oil. It can be cooked in various ways and prepared for various seasonings for pasta and especially fettuccine.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.