• Proposed
  • Under Assessment
  • LCPreliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Hygrocybe purpureofolia (H.E. Bigelow) Courtec.

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Scientific name
Hygrocybe purpureofolia
(H.E. Bigelow) Courtec.
Common names
Hygrocybe à lames pourprées
Purple gilled waxy cap
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Assessed
Preliminary Category
Proposed by
Annabelle Langlois
Annabelle Langlois
Michael Castellano
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

= Hygrophorus purpureofolius Bigelow 1960.

Hygrocybe purpureofolia (H.E. Bigelow) Courtec., Cryptogamie Mycologie 10 (3): 193 (1989).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Geographic range

Hygrocybe purpureofolia has been reported in Canada from Quebec province (Estrie region?; mycoquebec.org and Renée Lebeuf, personal communication), and in the United States from the Great Smoky Mountains (Cocke Co., Blount Co., Tennessee and Haywood Co., Bucombe Co., North Carolina; mycoportal.org, Peterson and Lodge 2004, mushroomobserver.org and Noah Siegel, personal communication), West Virginia (Dryfork Co., Fayette Co.; mushroomobserver.org), Massachusetts (Berkshire Co., Worchester Co.; Hesler and Smith 1963 and Noah Siegel, personal communication), New Hampshire (Cheshire Co., Carroll Co., Belknap Co., Hillsborough Co.; Rick Van der Poll and Noah Siegel, personal communications) and Connecticut (Westchester Co., New London Co.; mushroomobserver.org, Russell 2012 and Christian Swarz, personal communication).

Population and Trends

There are about 19-21 localities where Hygrocybe purpureofolia has been seen. All are located in northeastern North America. Hygrocybe purpureofolia has been collected relatively often in recent years and there are no signs of major threats to its habitat, which suggests that H. purpureofolia population is stable.

USA: 5-7 in the Great Smoky Mountains area (TN and NC; 2004//2004//2005//2005//2005//2009//2013; 2005 and 2009 mentions might be in the same location in Cocke, TN; 2005 and 2013 mentions might be the same location in Haywood Co., NC), 4 in MA (1959//1959 or 1960//prior to 1963//many years up to 2011), 2 in WV (2013//2015), 4 in NH (2003//2006//2011//many years up to 2011) and 2 in CT (2010//2012). Total 17-19 sites. See mycoportal.org, mushroomobserver.org, Hesler and Smith 1963, Peterson and Lodge 2004.
Canada: 2 in Quebec province (2004//2013). See mycoquebec.org. Also Renée Lebeuf, personal communication.

Hygrocybe purpureofolia has very characteristic macroscopic features allowing easy identification and is a colorful species. It is expected that H. purpureofolia is rarely overlooked and most often identified when found.

We estimate the total number of H. purpureofolia sites to be 10 times higher than the current number of known sites. Each location is thought to represent 3 functional individuals. Each of them is expected to represent 10 mature individuals. Thus, we estimate the total number of mature individuals of Hygrocybe purpureofolia to be near 6000.

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology

Hygrocybe purpureofolia is gregarious to subcaespitose and fruits between June and November. It has been found on the ground and humus under birch and maple or in mixed woods (with hemlock; Hesler and Smith 1963, mycoquebec.org). In New Hampshire, it is reported from wetlands only (Rick Van der Poll, personal communication). Hygrocybe purpureofolia was also found in wetlands in other sites in the United States, but there is no sign that this species is restricted to these ecosystems (Noah Siegel, personal communication).

Temperate ForestBogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands [generally over 8 ha]


Approximately a third of Hygrocybe purpureofolia sites are located in the same national park so stochastic events (for example windstorms) could substantially affect the viability of these populations. Some sites are located in wetlands and could therefore be threatened by habitat quality loss.

Conservation Actions

Nearly half of the Hygrocybe purpureofolia sites are located in areas where biodiversity is protected to a certain degree (national parks, state forests, or private preserves). The other known sites should be protected as well. Since Hygrocybe purpureofolia is easily recognizable, amateur mycologists can easily learn where to find and how to recognize it.

Site/area protectionEducation & awareness

Research needed

Hygrocybe purpureofolia is an easily identified species due to its unusual combination of purplish gills and dark orange-red cap. In northeastern North America, where H. purpureofolia is found, there are numerous groups of amateur mycologists. Members of these groups can be recruited and instructed where to find and how to identify H. purpureofoliai so they can target this species during forays. Data from amateur mycologists can be critical to help define H. purpureofolia population size, distribution and trends.

Population size, distribution & trends

Use and Trade


Bigelow, H. E., & Barr, M. E. (1960). Contribution to the fungus flora of northeastern North America. Rhodora, 62 (739): 186–198.
Hesler, L. R., & Smith, A. H. (1963). North American species of Hygrophorus.
Hygrocybe purpureofolia. Retrieved 19 April 2016 from mushroomobserver.org
Hygrocybe purpureofolia. Retrieved 19 April 2016 from mycoportal.org
Hygrocybe purpureofolia. (2014). Retrieved 19 April 2016 from mycoquebec.org
Peterson, R., & Lodge, J. (2004). Beating The Weather: A Successful Mycoblitz in Support of the Great Smoky Mountains All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. Newsletter of the Mycological Society of America. Inoculum, supplement to Mycologia 55 (5).
Russell, P. (2012). Hygrocybe purpureofolia.jpg. Retrieved 19 April 2016 from pbase.com/comafungi/image/146176986.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted