Where does Russula end and Macowanites begin?

Brian McNett brianmc at telebyte.net
Tue Nov 2 09:49:00 EST 1999

In article <7valdv$kvb$1 at nnrp1.deja.com> , truffler1635 at my-deja.com  wrote:

>In my collecting today for the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Show this
>Sunday, I came acros a mostly hypogeous mushroom, apparently a Russula,
>although the gills are close and crowded, and cross-hatching is obvious.
>I know that hypogeous forms of Russula-related fungi are called
>Macowanites, and I have collected some specimens from this group. While
>in my experience Macowanites seldom has exposed gills and *flasher*
>Russulas do, where does the distinction occur? I find a lot of hypogeous
>Russula which have strong stems and fully-expanded pileus: and I still
>consider these totally from the Russula family. OTOH, I also find
>epigeous/partially hypogeous Russula-like fungi with the gills poorly
>developed (if at all), and mostly vestigial stems. Are these actually
>Macowanites or some intermediary form? Anyone want to comment?

Macowanites is not a true hypogeous fungus, it merely *tends* in that
direction.  It may be erumpent, or even fully epigeous on occasion.

Although Russula is considered epigeous, it too can sometimes be erumpent.

Interesting point is that although in Macowanites the spores are not
forcibly discharged, they are *modified* for forcible discharge.  A third
genus, Elasomyces, contains those "gastroid Russulas" whose spores are *not*
modified for forcible discharge.

Modern taxonomists place all these genera in the order Russulales.


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