Some beginner's question (Russula atropurpurea)

Andreas Gminder agminder at s.netic.de
Sun Oct 22 14:10:11 EST 2000


>I found a 'new' species yesterday which I'm pretty confident is a
>Russula. I also have a 'Green Guide' book showing just 150 species.
>>From this I would identify it as a Russula Atropurpurea (Black-and-
>purple Russula) but this species is not in Courtecuisse. Instead there
>is a whole sub-sect called Atropurpureae, none of which seems quite
>right. The smaller ones were domed and the larger ones had the classic
>Russula funnel shape. About as tall as they were broad. White Stipe
>covered in vertical 'scars', felt firm but inside was moist and crisp
>when squashed. White gills ran straight from edge of cap then stopped
>neatly at top of stipe. A few gills started at edge of cap but stopped
>before reaching the stem but most were complete. Spores looked very
>pale. Cap thick and firm. Deep pink with darker (black?) centre. One
>very wet example had had its colour leached out and was a pale pink.
>They were growing over several square meteres of ground on grass under
>an oak. Any ideas on how to pin down the ID on this one?


The species is very variable in colour. Mostly it is +/- violet with a
darker, nearly purple-blackish center. Very often the violet colour is mixed
with ochraceous spots, which can even be the main colour. Also a completely
ochraceous or yellowish form is known (without the slightest violet
tinges!). The taste is sometimes acrid, but never very strong, sometimes
mild. A good feature seems to me, that in older specimens the gills and
often also the stipe gets yellowish to ochraceous spots. In Europe this
species is confined to Quercus spp.
In Courtecuisse & Duhem that species should be found as "Russula krombholzii
Shaffer".

Best wishes,
Andreas








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