Russula laricina Velen.

Taxonomy

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Russulales - Family: Russulaceae

This variable brittlegill is difficult to identify, and microscopic examination is necessary to separate it from other doppelgangers in this complex genus.

Distribution

This brittlegill is not recorded from Britain or Ireland, but it is fairly common in eastern Europe..

Taxonomic history

The currently-accepted scientific name dates from a 19** publication by Czech mycologist Josef Velenovský (1858-1949)

Etymology

Russula, the generic name, means red or reddish, and indeed many of the brittlegills do have red or somewhat reddish caps (but many more of the brittlegill mushrooms are not red, and several of those that are usually red can also occur in a range of other colours!).

As the specific epithet laricina implies (the Latin name for a larch tree is larix) , this is a mushroom of larch woodland. Often occurring on quite dry slopes, the fruitbodies are not always very easy to spot because they blend in so well with the leaf and needle litter of the forest floor.

Identification guide

 

Cap

3 to 6cm across; various shades of coppery brown with green and vinaceous tints; thick fleshed;

 

Gills

Free; moderately crowded, cream, browning with age.

Stem

3.5 to 6cm tall and 0.7 to 1.4cm dia; c reamy white, browning with age

 

Spores

Ellipsoidal, 8-9 x 7-8µm, ornamented with warts in a partial reticule.

Spore print

Cream.

Odour/taste

Odour not distinctive; taste variable - sometimes mild but can also be bitter.

Habitat & Ecological role

Mycorrhizal with larch trees.

Season

July to October in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

 

Culinary Notes

Russula laricina is reported to be edible but this mushroom is not highly regarded.

Reference Sources

Pat O'Reilly (2016). Fascinated by Fungi, First Nature Publishing

Geoffrey Kibby (2011).The Genus Russula in Great Britain, published by G Kibby.

Roberto Galli (1996). Le Russule. Edinatura, Milan.

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

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