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Hygrophorus calophyllus P. Karst.

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Scientific name
Hygrophorus calophyllus
P. Karst.
Common names
Rosaskivig vaxskivling
Schönblättriger Schneckling, Rosablättriger Schneckling
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Preliminary Category
EN A2c+3c+4c
Proposed by
Tea von Bonsdorff
Tea von Bonsdorff
Ellen Larsson, Noah Siegel
Comments etc.
Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Armin Mešić
Anders Dahlberg

Assessment Notes

R-L categories correct, but text here does not match final assessment. Updated version will be published in IUCN´s Red List June or Nov 2019.



Hygrophorus calophyllus is very easily recognizable, robust, H. camarophyllus-like but with sammon-red coloured gills. In Europe, the species is a indicator species of old, calcareous conifer forests on calcareous soils with a high conservation value, including a rich fungal biodiversity (eg. Bjørndalen 2003, von Bonsdorff et al. 2014, Kytövuori et al. 2005, Nitare 2011, ).

Hygrophorus calophyllus has circumboreal distribution, but the but the numbers of localities are very low with ca. 50 known localities in Europe (eg. Sweden 10-20; Norway 15-20; Russia 5, Croatia 1). USA with 35 (Siegel, N. 2019). The species has been evaluated as threatened in Norway (EN), Sweden (EN) and Croatia (CR). It is reported as regionally extinct (RE) from Finland (von Bonsdorff et al. 2019) as last collected in 1889. The number of localities have clearly declined within many decades and the declination is expected to continue due to the declination of habitat area and quality (eg. Kouki et al. 2018) which is due to: forestry management eg. old trees logged from large areas (affects to reproduction), changes in forest composition, land use and climate change (eg. Kellomäki et al. 2005).

Evaluation period used is 50 years (= three generations, see Dahlberg and Mueller 2011). The European populations (to approx. 100 sites), that is approx. 2000 individuals and it is still decreasing. Hygrophorus calophyllus is assessed Endangered (EN) under criterion A2c+3c+4c, population reduction of over 50% in 50 years based on decline of habitat quantity and quality and also under C1 (small population size and estimated continuing decline with under 2500 mature individuals).


Taxonomic notes

Hygrophorus calophyllus P. Karst.

P. Karsten 1876: Bidrag, till Kännedom om Finlands Natur och Folk. Mycologia Fennica 25: 375.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Hygrophorus calophyllus is very easily recognizable, robust, H. camarophyllus-like but with sammon-red coloured gills. In Europe, the species is a indicator species of old, calcareous conifer forests on calcareous soils with a high conservation value, including a rich fungal biodiversity. The species is very rare and is included on national redlists of The Nordic Countries (Norway & Sweden EN, Finland RE) where the main European population is. The number of known localities has decreased over many decades. The habitat type in the Northern Europe is naturally very small in area, fragmented and with reduced quality.

Geographic range

Hygrophorus calophyllus has a circumboreal distribution. It is very rare and have a very fragmented occupancy. The core population in Europe is located in Sweden and Norway.

Country of occurrence:

Native: Austria (1); Croatia; Germany; Norway; Russian Federation; Spain (2); Sweden;  United States, Canada.
Island and UK/Northern Ireland, UK (on plantations, not natural).
Italy, Germany & Japan (2) & France (Corse; old 1970): These occurences have not been verified.

Population and Trends

Hygrophorus calophyllus is currently known from ca. 85 localities in whole of it´s boreal range. The species has
small subpopulations and is severely fragmented.

The numbers in Europe, outside Fennoscandia are very low (approximately 20 sites), so in Europe altogether ca. 50 sites. The total number of localities, including yet unrecorded sites, may be 2 times higher (eg. due to the habitat type). Making the estimates for the entire European populations to approx. 100 sites, that is approx. 2,000 individuals and it is decreasing. Decreasing is estimated also in the USA (Siegel N.). The core population in Europe is in Sweden and Norway.

The species is very rare in the whole boreal area. Due to various negative trends: habitat area loss and loss off habitat quality and fragmentation, due to forestry management (eg. clear-cutting and logging old trees) and land use (for agricultural use, building etc.), is why this species has and has had a considerable decline during 50 years in Europe. To more extend climate change is causing threat to the old boreal forests (eg. Kellomäki).

The habitats of H. calophyllus are small in area and those are threatened in many countries in Northern Europe. The same trend has been reported from North America with similar population/habitat decline and is due e.g. climate change, continued loss of habitat, decline in old growth forest areas, and hotter, stand replacing fires are likely detrimental to this species (Siegel, N. 2017). 

The species is estimated to have decreased by more than 50% in three generations (50 years, see Dahlberg and Mueller 2011) based on habitat-loss of old-growth forests on calcareous soils and continuing decline.

Current Population Trend: Decreasing

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology

Hygrophorus calophyllus forms ectomycorrhiza with Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway Spruce (Picea abies) in Europe. It is reported from North America as ectomycorrhizal with Pinaceae (Siegel, N. 2017).

The species grows in old conifer forests on calcareous soils (dry-mesic eutrophic herb-rich forests)¨in Europe (eg.von Bonsdorff et al. 2019, , Kytövuori et al. 2005, Larsson et al. 2010). This habitat type has a high conservation value, including a rich fungal biodiversity (eg. von Bonsdorff et al. 2014, Bjørndalen 2003, Nitare 2011). This kind a habitat type is naturally very small in area and fragmented and it has been assessed as threatened (VU-EN) in Finland (Kouki et al. 2018, von Bonsdorff et al. 2014). The habitat type has been decreasing in numbers and suffered quality decline in the other Nordic Countries as well (eg. Nitare 2011)

Boreal Forest


Old growth forests on calcareous soils is very threatened habitat (Kouki et al. 2005, Nitare 2011, von Bonsdorff et al. 2014) and quite few are left, also the quality has decreased/is decreasing (eg. nitrogen loads, cuttings of old trees etc.). Old-growth forests has been logged for timber and also for agricultural us in large clear-cut areas.

Unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Unintentional effects: large scale (species being assessed is not the target) [harvest]Nutrient loadsHabitat shifting & alterationDroughts

Conservation Actions

To prevent decline and fragmentation of the old-growth conifer forests on calcareous soils, as they are hot spots for other fungi as well, should be protected in the northern Europe core population area of Hygrophorus calophyllus.

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protection

Research needed

We do not know for sure yet, is Hygrophorus calophyllus really the same in USA as in Europe. The degree of differentiation between N American and European populations should be clarified.

Population size, distribution & trendsArea-based Management Plan

Use and Trade

The species is not known to be used.


Artdatabanken Sweden 2019. Artfakta Hygrophorus calophyllus

Artsdatabanken Norway 2019. Rødliste for arter. https://www.artsdatabanken.no/Rodliste
Hesler LR, Smith AH, 1963. North American species of Hygrophorus. The university of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

von Bonsdorff T., Kytövuori I., Vauras J., Huhtinen S., Halme P., Rämä T., Kosonen L. & Jakobsson S. 2014. Indicator fungi - Norrlinia 27:1-272.

von Bonsdorff, T., Niskanen, T., Kytövuori, I., Vauras, J., Liimatainen K., Höijer, P., Ruotsalainen, A. L., Salo, P., Ohenoja, E., Kosonen, L., & Huhtinen, S. 2019. Agaricoid and boletoid fungi. In: Hyvärinen, E., Juslén, A., Kemppainen, E., Uddström, A. & Liukko, U.-M. (eds.) 2019. The 2019
Red List of Finnish Species. Ympäristöministeriö & Suomen ympäristökeskus. Helsinki. pp. 204-233.

Dahlberg, A. and Mueller, G. 2011. Applying IUCN red-listing criteria for assessing and reporting on the
conservation status of fungal species. Fungal Ecology 4: 1-16.

Bjørndalen J. 2003: Kalkgranskogar i Sverige och Norge - förslag till växtsociologisk
klassificering. - Rapport. Skogsstyrelsen, Jönköping. 80 p.

Kellomäki, S., Strandman, H., Nuutinen, T., Peltola, H., Korhonen, K.T., Väisänen, H.2005. Adaptation of forest ecosystems, forests and forestry to climate change. FINADAPT Working Paper 4, Finnish Environment Institute Mimeographs 334, Helsinki, 44 pp.

Kouki J., Junninen K., Mäkelä K., Hokkanen M., Aakala T., Hallikainen V. et al. 2018: Forests 6. In: Kontula T., Raunio A. (eds.): Threatened habitat types in Finland 2018, Red List of habitats. Part II: Descriptions of habitat types. - Helsinki: Suomen ympäristökeskus. 2018. p. 475-567. (Suomen Ympäristö).

Kytövuori, I., Nummela-Salo, U., Ohenoja, E., Salo, P. & Vauras, J. 2005: Ekology table of Agarics and Boletes in Finland. In: Salo, P., Niemelä, T., Nummela-Salo, U., & Ohenoja, E. (eds.). Suomen helttasienten ja tattien ekologia, levinneisyys ja uhanalaisuus. — Suomen ympäristökeskus, Helsinki. Suomen ympäristö 769, p. 320.

Largent, D.L. 1994. The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California 5. Hygrophoraceae. Mad River Press, Eureka, CA
Finnish Biodiversity Facility 2019: https://laji.fi/taxon/MX.72900

Larsson E, Jacobsson S, Stridvall A. 2010. Släktet Hygrophorus, skogsvaxskivlingar i Sverige. SMF, Mykologiska publikationer 3, ISSN1654-546x
Kovalenko A. 2012. Hygrophorus Fr. In: Knudsen H, Vesterholt J. (Eds.) Funga Nordica. Agaricoid, boletoid, cyphelloid and gasteroid genera,
Nordsvamp, Copenhagen, pp. 282–293.

Mushroom Observer. http://mushroomobserver.org

MyCoPortal. Mycology Collections Portal. Available at: http://mycoportal.orgThe RedList of Finnish Fungi: https://punainenkirja.laji.fi/results/MX.72900?checklist=MR.424

Nitare, J. 2011: Barrskogar. Nyckelbiotoper i Sverige. - Skogsstyrelsen, Jönköping. 64 p.

Siegel, N. 2017. United States Forest Service R5 rare species assessment: Hygrophorus calophyllus. USFS internal document.

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted