Hygrocybe punicea (Fr.) P. Kumm., the crimson waxcap.
Agaricus puniceus Fr.
Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 1: 104 (1821)
Godfrinia acutopunicea (R. Haller Aar. & F.H. Møller) Herink
Sborník severočeského Musea, Historia Naturalis 1: 65 (1958)
Godfrinia punicea (Fr.) Herink
Sborník severočeského Musea, Historia Naturalis 1: 68 (1958)
Hygrocybe acutopunicea R. Haller Aar. & F.H. Møller
Schweiz. Z. Pilzk. 34: 66 (1956)
Hygrophorus puniceus (Fr.) Fr.
Epicr. syst. mycol. (Upsaliae): 331 (1838)
Pseudohygrocybe punicea (Fr.) Kovalenko
Mikol. Fitopatol. 22(3): 208 (1988)
Scarlet- or crimson-waxy cap
Cap: 4-10 cm diameter, initially campanulate, and later flattening, often with involute margin, blood- to dark red in colour; context up to 5 mm thick, brittle, yellow.
Gills: thick and widely spaced, adnate or emarginate with decurrent tooth, yellow-red in colour.
Spore print: white.
Spores: broadly elliptical, 7–10.5 x 4.5–5.5 µm.
Stem: 5-12 cm high, 0.9-2 cm thick, cylindrical, tapering towards base, solid, reddish with a paler yellow or whitish base; flesh whitish.
Habitat: solitary or subgregarious; grows in grasses, often in autumn; common.
The lipid composition of H. punicea has been analyzed using GLC, GC/MS and 1H NMR (Yokokawa and Mitsuhashi, 1981). As a percentage of dry weight, the total (saponifiable) lipid content in this species is a low 3.6%, while unsaponifiable lipids were 11.2%. Of this unsaponifiable fraction, 31.1% was comprised of Δ5,7-sterols. This fraction was further determined to be 78.8% ergosterol, and 21.2% ergosta-5,7-dien-3β-ol.
Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of H. punicea and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 90% and 100%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
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Ohtsuka S, Ueno S, Yoshikumi C, Hirose F, Ohmura Y, Wada T, Fujii T, Takahashi E.
Polysaccharides having an anticarcinogenic effect and a method of producing them from species of Basidiomycetes.
UK Patent 1331513, 26 September 1973.
Pradeep CK, Joseph A, Vijaya, Abraham TK, Vrinda KB.
Hygrocybe punicea: An edible mushroom new to India.
Acta Botanica Indica. 1996 24(1):103-4.