Key to 28 Blushing and/or Blackening Russulas in North America
|1.||Cap brown, with conspicuous pinkish cottony scales or patches; possibly known only from the type collection made under northern white cedar in Cheboygan County, Michigan.|
|1.||Cap variously colored (including brown), without pinkish cottony scales; variously distributed.|
|2.||Cap evenly yellow; stem and flesh slowly discoloring gray to blackish without a red stage; odor and taste mild; found in conifer and birch bogs in northern and montane North America.|
|3.||Cap dull orange to coppery orange; stem and flesh discoloring slowly gray without a red stage; found under conifers; pileocystidia present.|
|4.||Cap orangish brown to brownish orange, with fine yellow powder (especially on the margin) when young; stem becoming orangish yellow with age, bruising deep red on handling; odor reminiscent of maraschino cherries or almonds; taste acrid; KOH on cap surface deep red; associated with oaks; apparently widely distributed east of the Great Plains.|
|5.||Cap mottled with pinks, purples, and greens (occasionally with browns as well)--or sometimes with one of these shades dominating completely; flesh and stem discoloring slowly pinkish, then gray; odor and taste mild; under conifers in western North America.|
|6.||Cap red to purple (sometimes mottled with brownish and/or olive shades).|
|6.||Cap otherwise colored (white, beige, tan, brown, black).|
|8.||Known from California, under Sitka spruce; flesh and stem discoloring gray to black without a red stage; spore print and mature gills yellow; flesh not reacting to phenol; pileocystidia positive in sulphovanillin.|
|8.||Known from eastern North America, under various trees; physical features and chemical reactions varying.|
|9.||Stem bruising purplish to dull red but not subsequently blackening; cap small (2-4 cm), almost black over the disc or when young; under spruces.|
|9.||Stem discoloring gray to blackish, without a red stage.|
|10.||Associated with conifers; taste mild; stem often flushed with pink (inherent color; not discoloration); spore print dull yellow; spores with isolated warts.|
= Russula obscura
|10.||Associated with hardwoods; stem white before discoloring gray with age; spore print white; spores with frequent, fine connectors between warts.|
|11.||Cap brownish red, brick red, cinnamon--or with olive shades, or mottled with these colors.|
|11.||Cap fairly evenly some shade of red (perhaps with some whitish to yellowish areas when mature or faded).|
|12.||Taste slowly very acrid; odor reminiscent of maraschino cherries gone bad; spores with very low warts (extending only to .3 µ).|
|12.||Taste mild; odor not distinctive or slightly fishy; spores with low or moderately high warts.|
|13.||Spores with very low warts (extending only to .4 µ).|
|13.||Spores with warts extending .6-1 µ.|
|14.||Cap pale red to pink, sometimes with whitish to yellowish areas; spore print and mature gills yellow; taste acrid; spores with low warts extending only to .5 µ; known from lower elevations in California.|
|14.||Not completely as above; physical features varying; taste mild or only slightly acrid; species apparently distributed primarily in eastern North America.|
|15.||Stem where bruised turning reddish to red, then blackish.|
|15.||Stem where bruised turning gray to blackish without a red stage.|
|16.||Cap skin peeling easily over halfway to the center; stem always white before bruising; pileocystidia cylindric to fusiform.|
|16.||Cap skin more adnate than above, peeling only near the margin; stem apex sometimes pink (before bruising); pileocystidia clavate.|
|17.||Associated with hardwoods from the Midwest to northeastern North America; spore print white to creamy.|
|17.||Associated with conifers in northern North America; spore print yellow to orangish yellow.|
|18.||Cap purplish red to brownish red; spores with isolated warts; pileocystidia absent; encrusted primordial hyphae present.|
|18.||Cap red to orangish red; spores with connectors between warts; pileocystidia present; encrusted primordial hyphae absent.|
sensu Shaffer (1970)
|19.||Gills pink (inherent color, before discoloring) and well spaced; cap tan to dull brown; stem often bruising pinkish to reddish (without a subsequent change to gray) when very fresh; found in southeastern North America.|
|19.||Not completely as above.|
|20.||Growing under coast live oak in California; cap beige to tan; flesh and stem bruising reddish to reddish brown but not subsequently turning blackish; gills close, white before discoloring.|
|21.||Flesh and/or stem bruising reddish to red, then changing to grayish or blackish.|
|21.||Flesh and/or stem bruising grayish to blackish, almost always without a red stage (occasionally some of these mushrooms will manifest a reddish stage).|
|22.||Cap olive to olive gray, olive brown, or brownish (not initially whitish); taste acrid; spores partially to completely reticulate with frequent connectors between warts; growing under conifers.|
|22.||Not completely as above.|
|23.||Odor heavy and unpleasant, very strong (described as "piggy" and "like . . . a sweating horse"); spore print yellow.|
|23.||Odor not distinctive, slightly fragrant, or slightly unpleasant; spore print white.|
|24.||Pileipellis measuring under 150 µ thick under the microscope, not embedded in a gelatinous matrix--with mostly repent, interwoven elements on the surface; cap surface, when rubbed with a fingertip, often with a somewhat waxy, brittle feel; gills usually (but not always) distant or nearly so.|
|24.||Pileipellis over 150 µ thick and embedded in a gelatinous matrix--often with predominantly upright elements near the surface; cap surface usually softer to the touch than above; gills usually (but not always) close or nearly crowded.|
|25.||Bruising fairly quickly (within a minute) and strongly; cap pure white before discoloring.|
|25.||Bruising more slowly and weakly than above; cap beige to brownish or brown before discoloring.|
|26.||Pileipellis measuring under 150 µ thick, comprised of mostly repent elements.|
|26.||Pileipellis over 200 µ, comprised of interwoven elements.|
|27.||Growing in western North America.|
|27.||Growing in eastern North America.|
|28.||Cap and stem surfaces smooth; cap sticky when wet; pileipellis elements yellow-brown in KOH or water.|
|28.||Cap dry and felty; stem surface minutely scaly; pileipellis elements dark brown in KOH or water.|
Russula anthracina var. insipida
|29.||Growing under conifers; cap sticky when wet; pileipellis embedded in gluten.|
|29.||Growing under hardwoods; cap dry; pileipellis not embedded in gluten.|
Beardslee, H. C. (1918). The russulas of North Carolina. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 33: 147–197.
Burlingham, G. S. (1915). Russula. North American Flora 9: 201–236.
Burlingham, G. S. (1924). Notes on species of Russula. Mycologia 16: 16–23.
Kibby, G. & Fatto, R. (1990). Keys to the species of Russula in northeastern North America. Somerville, NJ: Kibby-Fatto Enterprises. 70 pp.
Peck, C. H. (1906). Report of the state botanist: New York species of Russula. Bulletin of the New York State Museum 116: 67–117.
Peck, C. H. (1906). New species of fungi. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 33: 213–221.
Roberts, C. (2007). Russulas of southern Vancouver Island coastal forests. Doctoral dissertation, University of Victoria. Victoria BC, Canada.
Shaffer, R. L. (1962). The subsection Compactae of Russula. Brittonia 14: 254–284.
Shaffer, R. L. (1970). Notes on the subsection Crassotunicatinae and other species of Russula. Lloydia 33: 49–96.
Thiers, H. D. (1997). New species of Russula from California. Mycotaxon 63: 349–358.
Thiers, H. D. (1997). The Agaricales (gilled fungi) of California 9. Russulaceae I. Russula. Eureka, CA: Mad River P. 158 pp.
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Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2009, March). North American blushing russulas. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/russulas_rubescent.html