Habitat and Ecology
Hygrocybe punicea occurs in semi-natural grassland areas in mossy or low vegetation cover, at nutrient poor and acidic soil. Most appropriate habitat are the mesic meadows exposed to anthropogenic intervention, as regular grazing by livestock or hand mown. Generally Hygrocybe species are thought as saprobionts and only recently a suggestion had been given that they might be mycorrhizal or endophytes (Halbwachs et al. 2013, Halbwachs et al. 2018). The species usually produce sporocarps from late summer to autumn in groups or solitary.
It is an extremely rare species registered at only two sites in the country, in mountains Bistra and Vodno, at elevation between 600–1300 m a.s.l.. In the NP Mavrovo the site is found in the zone for sustainable use. The species has well-known ecology, but it has not been recorded frequently in the past. Therefore, based on availability of appropriate habitat the total number of sites is guesstimated to be up to 10 times higher than the current number.