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Hmmm... What was this Russula?

Colin Davidson c.davidson at biotech.cam.ac.uk
Mon Sep 18 17:55:33 EST 2000

Hello All,

Sorry to ask a question about identifying a russula (I do know how hard this
can be...) but I came across one that really had me stumped.

Large (up to 10-12cm across), with typical russula stem and white, brittle
gills. The cap was darkish red-brown, and again brittle, and ever so
slightly slimy. The stem was mostly solid, not especially fibrous. The smell
was typical russula. White spore print. The odd feature was that it stained
red after cutting (faint at first, going redder for half an hour or so).
Growing under horse chestnut and broad leaved lime trees, wettish conditions
in soil that's normally quite compacted. Other species present were Russula
xerampelina (this grows on that patch every year), Boletus chrysenteron,
Amanita rubescens and Helvella crispa (the first example I've seen on that
site). There's also the odd shaggy parasol grow nearby, but not when I was
out this weekend.

Now, I did think, "Ahh, maybe it's an Amanita rubescens that has gone a bit
funny, after all the colouring is right". But the gills were wrong, and
there were a good dozen or so examples of this russula growing, of a range
of different sizes. The nearest identifiable A. rubescens were in a ring
growing about 25 feet away. I also checked closely for any remains of the
veil on the cap, and for any signs of volva and ring. None were present on
the 'russula'.

I'm stumped. Does anyone have any ideas?



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