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Russula ballouii

[ Basidiomycetes > Russulales > Russulaceae > Russula . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Russula ballouii is likely to be confused with several other species of Russula, including some of the less-stinky mushrooms in the Russula foetentula species cluster, and some of the species clustered around Russula sororia. However, Russula ballouii is odorless, and has a dry cap and stem that are densely covered with brownish yellow to reddish pigment patches that break up as the mushroom grows. It does not have a lined cap margin, and its gills do not bruise. Its taste is strongly acrid.

Russula tennesseensis is a synonym, according to several authors.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with oaks; growing scattered or gregariously; summer, fall, and early winter; fairly widely distributed from Texas to Illinois and New York--but apparently less common in northeastern areas.

Cap: 3-9.5 cm; convex when young, later flat or broadly convex, with a central depression; dry; densely covered with pigment patches that break up as the mushroom matures; brownish yellow to rusty, orangish brown or brick red; the margin not lined; the skin not peeling easily.

Gills: Attached to the stem or beginning to run down it; crowded or close; whitish to creamy; not bruising but sometimes yellowish brown where damaged by insects.

Stem: 3-6.5 cm long; 1-2 cm thick; more or less equal; dry; textured and colored like the cap.

Flesh: White; unchanging when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive, or "of bread dough" (Bills & Miller, 1984); taste acrid.

Chemical Reactions: Iron salts negative to pale pink on the stem. KOH red to brownish red on cap surface.

Spore Print: Whitish or creamy.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-9 x 5.5-7.5 µ; elliptical to ovoid; warts .2-1 µ high; connectors forming partial reticula. Pileipellis a cutis with areas of reddish brown, poorly defined encrusted elements; pileocystidia cylindric to subclavate, 0-2 septate, to about 100 x 8 µ, weakly ochraceous-refractive in KOH and weakly positive in sulphovanillin.

REFERENCES: Peck, 1913. (Burlingham, 1915; Saccardo, 1925; Bills & Miller, 1984; Weber & Smith, 1985; Kibby & Fatto, 1990; Phillips, 1991/2005; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Roody, 2003; Miller & Miller, 2006; Binion et al., 2008.) Herb. Kuo 09270301, 07180703.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Russula ballouii

Russula ballouii

Russula ballouii

Russula ballouii

Russula ballouii

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Kuo, M. (2005, January). Russula ballouii. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: