Varieties of Russula Mushrooms – AZ Animals

If you happen to’re keen on eye-catching mushrooms, dive into the colourful world of russula. This fascinating genus of fungi he accommodates greater than 2,000 species, a few of that are edible and really fit to be eaten.

This information describes the final traits of russulas. We additionally clarify why this genus of mushrooms is usually so tough to typify or determine on the species degree, and three comparatively easy-to-identify edible russula.

Let’s bounce proper in.

Classification of fungi

Generally they’re colloquially referred to as “weak gills”. That is attribute of most Russula species.

© sash2s/

Russula mushrooms are generally referred to by their genus identify. russulaGenerally colloquially referred to as “brittle gills”. It is a defining function of most Russula species.Collectively, these mushrooms are Safflower household household.

As the biggest genus, Safflower household household, russula The genus consists of greater than 2,000 species worldwide.

Basic Russula Traits

A reddish-brown cap Russula mushroom growing in moss
Many russula species have pink caps, however the genus additionally consists of pink-, green-, brown-, purple-, yellow-, gray-, and white-capped mushrooms.


First, earlier than diving into the problem of distinguishing most species, let’s focus on the final traits of widespread russulas.

As for identification, Russula are normally recognizable by their colourful, nearly velvety (however matte) hats. Additionally they usually have thick white stalks, friable, dense, with connected gills and no veil or milky discharge from the gills. .

Many russula species have pink caps, however the genus additionally consists of pink-, green-, brown-, purple-, yellow-, gray-, and white-capped mushrooms. So whereas colourful caps are a strong rule, do not forget that there are exceptions.

All russula are mycorrhizal. It may be discovered rising out of the soil as a result of it attracts its vitamins from plant roots via a symbiotic relationship between fungi and vegetation. That’s, fungal hyphae (subterranean branching filaments) don’t penetrate the cortical cells of plant roots (in comparison with endomycorrhizal fungi, which do).

Notes on the Russulas typology

wild edible russula pardosa mushroom
For russulas, maybe your greatest guess is to know the documented native edible meals and discover ways to determine them.

©Alexandre Kosak/

On the planet of mycology, Broomwort is usually thought to be an absolute ache to determine on the species degree, even for skilled mycologists utilizing a microscope.

Macroscopic identification, particularly of the a whole bunch of red-capped species, is usually fairly subjective, equivalent to the precise shade of orange or pink, how simply the cuticle (pores and skin) of the cap flakes, and the way gentle or irritating the hair is. primarily based on the hair division. mushroom taste. Furthermore, as knowledgeable mycologist Micheal Kuo factors out in his glorious insightful article on identification of Russula species, even microscopic parameters for identification are sometimes subjective and ambiguous.

As such, many newbie mushroom fanatics restrict their identification of russulas to the genus degree, or keep on with figuring out the 20 or so species which might be straightforward to determine, equivalent to: Russula CyanoxantaGenerally referred to as charcoal burner, this choose edible European rossula options versatile, non-brittle gills. It additionally has a charcoal purple cap that units it other than the lighter coloured Ruslas.

Sure, some guides divide rouxula into varieties equivalent to “harsh” rouxula and “mild-tasting” rouxula. and is due to this fact not the first parameter for separating teams of mushrooms.

Moreover, many edible russula are literally “pepper” to style, including to the confusion. The cooking methodology differs vastly.

Outline a clearer mushroom kind

On the whole, creating several types of mushrooms throughout the similar genus isn’t very helpful until there are clear, well-defined traits that divide the species into teams. As a substitute, you may consider classifying giant teams primarily based on standards. For instance, spore-dispersing tissues equivalent to gills versus tooth versus pores. Alternatively, they are often categorized primarily based on saprophytic, parasitic and mycorrhizal. Some species could exhibit a number of behavioral modes of their life cycle, together with each mycorrhizal and saprophytic fungi.

It could be doable to typify species inside a genus on the premise of sharper distinctions. for instance, Agaricus By genus, we are able to roughly classify these mushrooms into red-dyeing mushrooms, yellow-dyeing mushrooms, and non-dyeing mushrooms.

Your greatest guess for Russians might be to know the edible meals which have been documented in your space, and discover ways to determine them and distinguish them from these that may trigger extra severe gastrointestinal disturbances. Emetic russula.

Examples of Edible North American Russula

Now, for those who’re on the lookout for edible russula in North America, this is what I like to recommend you be taught and search for.

  • Russula Brevipes
  • Russula Vesca
  • Russula parvovirescens

Russula Brevipes

Close up of Russula brevipes
On the planet of mycology, Broomwort is usually thought to be an absolute ache to determine on the species degree, even for skilled mycologists utilizing a microscope.


So if you wish to determine simply identifiable edible russula in North America, try Russula Brevipes, short-stemmed russula. This mushroom has a modest cap colour, not like many russula. The stalk ought to be pretty stocky in comparison with the width of the cap. The gills and stalks are additionally white. Like most russulas, it has friable gills and chalky stems.

Many individuals describe this mushroom as having a cuticle that’s tough to separate from the cap. This is called having an additive cuticle. To check this, elevate the outer fringe of the cap cuticle away from the cap and roll it in direction of the middle along with your thumb.

doable look-alikes

This mushroom appears to be like nearly indistinguishable from some European white mushroom species. Lactaria genus of Safflower household household. Nevertheless, for those who minimize the gills of the mushroom or press it, you may instantly distinguish it.If it does not produce a milky substance and the remainder of the outline above applies, then most likely Russula Brevipes.

Actual seeds ought to have a light style. So for those who chunk right into a small piece of mushroom, let it sit in your tongue for about 15 seconds (earlier than spitting it out) after which really feel the spicy taste, it is most probably the intently associated species russula, which may trigger gastrointestinal issues. there’s. It would upset if not cooked correctly.

Curiously, this mushroom really turns into the beloved and commercially out there lobster mushroom when infested with fungi. Hypomyces lactifluorumIt types an orange-red crust on high of the mushrooms, producing a really valuable taste.

Russula Vesca

Russula Vesca
This russula varies in colour, however usually has a pleasant pink or wine cap.


The subsequent edible North American russula on our listing is Russula Vesca, dishonest. This mushroom is taken into account to be the best tasting russula and chosen as an edible mushroom. Often known as bare-toothed friable gills. About 1mm of the mushroom edge isn’t lined by the cuticle of the cap, thus exposing the gills.

The cap colour varies from pink to darkish burgundy and will have olive, brown, or inexperienced accents. Stems usually attain as much as 4 inches in size, as does the utmost width of the cap. Like most russulas, the gills are brittle and the stalks break like chalk. The gills are white and pretty dense. Individuals usually report that the cuticle comes off simply about midway down the middle of the cap.

Russula virescens

Russula virescens
With its nutty taste, this Russula is prized amongst cooks.

© Aleksandar Milutinovic/

Lastly, there’s the beautiful turquoise cap russula. Russula virescensAmongst different russula, this mushroom is straightforward to determine and edible. The cap stands out extremely for its beautiful blue-green colour and mottling of scales attributable to cracks.

The stalk is easy, dry, and white, and normally grows as much as 2.25 inches lengthy. The cap typically reaches about 3 inches in size, relatively small amongst russula species. The species is extensively distributed from the East Coast to components of East Texas.On the whole you will discover Russula virescens Fruiting from midsummer to autumn.

Editor’s be aware: AZ Animals makes each effort to make sure content material and photographic accuracy, however as a result of similarity of many forms of mushrooms, wild mushrooms may be remoted with out first-hand data from an area mycologist or mushroom knowledgeable. do not eat


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