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Though a very pretty and quite delicate shade of apricot, the Meadow waxcap is one of the less colourful waxcaps. Yet what it lacks in vibrancy it more than makes up for in the sculptural elegance of its shape, even more so as it ages. From a straight robust stem, its gills soar skywards, like a sharp-edged version of the fluting on a Greek temple column, and the edge of its cap undulates like the rolling of the ocean waves.

151231 meadow waxcap (2)

Hygrocybe (‘watery head’) pratensis (‘of meadows’) is one of the larger mushrooms in the waxcap family and is also more tolerant of fertilisers than most, so is a relatively common find in Britain and Europe on mown grassland and cropped pastures where the soil tends towards the acidic. It can also be found growing in woodland areas in northern Asia, in Australia and New Zealand, and in both South and North America – in the latter, it is more commonly known as the butter meadowcap or the salmon waxy cap.

151231 meadow waxcap (1)