Wonderful Waxcaps

Waxcaps (Hygrocybe species) are a variety of toadstool which are often brightly coloured with a distinctive waxy top. We have several different types here in the Formal Garden. They thrive in areas of grassland which have had very little cultivation and no added fertiliser. This may come as a suprise that we have them in our lawns as many people would assume that our lawns are lavishly tended – scarified, well fed, aerated and top-dressed. Apart from mowing our lawns regularly, very little is done to them.

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But there is a reason for this. Our lawns are an old fine grass mix and slightly acidic in nature which leads to moss becoming a prominent feature. However we dont mind this moss as it encourages our fabulous range of Waxcap fungi during the autumn months. They are not always easily spotted but once you start looking closely what a treat you are in for!

Here are some of my favourites.

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Above are a variety of the range of colours our waxcaps can be found. We have Crimson Waxcaps,  Honey Waxcaps, Blackening Waxcaps, Golden Waxcaps, Parrot Waxcaps, Snowy Waxcaps and Cedarwood Waxcaps.  We do also get the Ballerina Waxcap (Hygrocybe calyptriformis) which is pink and quite a rare variety only to be found in very localised areas of the UK where the conditions for growth are optimal. However I haven’t found one yet this season, but there’s still time!

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Above are a type of coral fungi (left) and ‘smokey spindles’.

Our waxcaps mainly grow on the lawns in front of the Orchard House. So if you are visiting soon why not take a closer look at what is growing in our lawns.

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