The Vermilion Waxcap has a cap that is 5-22 mm in diameter, convex when young, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat with age. The cap is dry or slightly moist in humid or wet weather, and is innately, finely, radially scurfy or fibrillose, especially with age. The cap is scarlet to reddish orange when young and fresh, fading to orange or yellow with age. The margin of the cap is sometimes thinly lined and/or scalloped.
The gills of the Vermilion Waxcap are pale yellow, widely spaced, and can have an orange or red hue. The stem is concolorous with the cap and smooth. The flesh is thin and off white.
The Vermilion Waxcap is found in pastures, fields with short grass, and open woodland.
The Vermilion Waxcap is reportedly edible, but it is too small and insubstantial as well as too uncommon to be worth considering as a culinary collectible.
The Vermilion Waxcap is similar to other small red waxcaps, such as the Scarlet Waxcap (Hygrocybe coccinea). However, the Scarlet Waxcap has a greasy cap, unlike the scurfy cap of the Vermilion Waxcap.
It is important to be able to identify mushrooms accurately before eating them, even if they are reported to be edible. There are many poisonous mushrooms that look similar to edible mushrooms, and it is not worth the risk of poisoning to eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is safe.
CAP 5-22 mm across; convex, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat; often developing a broad central depression; dry or slightly moist in humid or wet weather; innately, finely, radially scurfy or fibrillose, especially with age; scarlet to reddish orange when young and fresh, fading to orange or yellow; the margin sometimes becoming thinly lined and/or scalloped. GILLS broadly attached to the stem or beginning to run down it; nearly distant; thick; pale yellow at first, becoming yellow to orange; short-gills frequent. STEM 20-40 mm long; 2-5 mm thick; equal, or tapering to base; dry; bald; yellow near the apex; elsewhere colored more or less like the cap but fading more slowly; base white. FLESH orange to pale yellow; thin.ODOR not distinctive, or somewhat foul; TASTE not distinctive.
SIMILAR H. cantharellus (common on the east coast), H. squamulosa (uncommon on the east coast), and H. turunda (uncommon) which are not listed in this guide. Hygrophorus miniatus is a SYNONYM.