Cap 1.5-3.5 cm diameter, convex to broadly convex, sometimes depressed in center or umbilicate; surface moist, but not viscid, smooth, red, fading to orange or yellow and becoming fibrillose to slightly scaly; flesh thin, same color as cap; odor and taste not distinctive.
Gills adnate, distant, thick, waxy; reddish-orange, fading at maturity to yellow-orange or yellow.
Stipe 2-4 cm tall, 0.3-0.5 cm thick, equal, smooth, concolorous with the cap, slowly fading in age; veil absent.
Spores 6-9 x 4-6 µm, elliptical, smooth. Spore print white.
Solitary to scattered on soil, moss, or rotting wood in mixed hardwood-conifer forests; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter.
Edible, but of no consequence.
Hygrocybe miniata is recognized by its small scarlet cap which fades in age to orange or yellow-orange, and waxy, distant gills. Like most members of the waxy-cap clan, it tends to be a late fruiter, usually not showing up before mid-December.