E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Russula parazurea Jul. Schaeff.
blue Russula

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi
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Distribution of Russula parazurea
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Species Information

features include pruinose cap with grayish tones of green, olive, blue, violet, wine or sepia, cap skin peeling halfway, margin without conspicuous striation, whitish gills, white stem that is either unchanging when bruised or weakly changing to brown, mild taste, cream yellow spore deposit, and reticulate spores; apparently collected in Bellingham WA according to Woo(1), and "may be represented in the Pacific Northwest", Thiers gives for CA, Roberts, C.(2) reports a collection from Vancouver Island in BC, but comments [Latin names in italics, mu used instead of u for microns], "This collection of one mushroom agrees with the description for R. parazurea in Romagnesi (1967) in most characters. The description in Thiers (1997) has a spore size for the California material as 6-10.5 x 5-6um, whereas in Romagnesi the spores are only up to 8.5um long and up to 6.5um wide. In the Koksilah [Vancouver Island] collection described above, the spores are closer to the California material in size, although most are under 10um long, the ornamentation is not as reticulated as either the European or California descriptions and the wart size is closer to that in Romagnesi's description. Thiers (1997) describes the pileocystidia as poorly differentiated, whereas the Koksilah collection matches those illustrated in Romagnesi (1967) which are clearly differentiated.", CHEMICAL REACTIONS iron salts pale salmon pink [probably on flesh] (Buczacki)
3-8cm across, "grayish tones of olive, violet, sepia or wine, sometimes browner"; drying matte or pruinose, peeling 1/2+, margin almost even, (Woo following Rayner), 4.5-6cm across, greenish gray to near pigeon blue, center fading to pallid gray; with a delicate surface bloom, cuticle separable, edge almost smooth, (Woo following Lange), 4.5-6cm across, depressed; greenish gray to almost pigeon blue, "with a delicate bloom which under a strong lens looks somewhat mealy or mouldy", center fading to pallid clay; cuticle separable, edge almost smooth, (Lange), 3-6(8)cm across, soon depressed; often uniformly colored, rather dark grayish green, grayish olivaceous, grayish or greenish, sometimes pale grayish blue or with rust-colored patches; often remarkably pruinose, (Hansen), 3-6cm across, gray-blue, light to dark bluish, center often also green; lusterless, as if mildewy pruinose-scurfy, (Moser), 4-7cm across, "grayish purple or olivaceous to grayish green to grayish brown, often brown to brownish on the disc", unchanging when bruised; dry, noticeably white-pruinose to whitish-pruinose or velutinous [velvety], cap skin not easily separable, or separating to 1/2 the distance to the disc, not or only obscurely striate, (Thiers)
firm; white, (Woo following Rayner), thin (Woo following Lange), 0.1-0.4cm thick; white to pallid, unchanging when exposed; in stem white, unchanging in color or staining pale brown when exposed, (Thiers)
often forking; pale buff, (Woo following Rayner), equal, somewhat forking at stem; milk-white, (Lange), whitish (Hansen), "adnexed to adnate, close to subdistant, forking and anastomosing absent or rare", subgills absent; white to whitish at first, pale yellow to dark yellow when old, unchanging when bruised, margin the same color; margin entire, (Thiers)
rather short; white, (Lange); 3-6cm x 0.7-1.5cm, white but often with rusty spots at base, (Hansen), 2-3cm x 0.5-1cm at top, narrowing toward base, stuffed; white with no flushes or tints or other colors; dry, smooth, bald, (Thiers)
mild (Thiers)
mild or very slightly peppery, (Woo following Rayner), tasteless (Lange), mild to weakly peppery (Thiers)
Microscopic spores:
spores 5.8-8.5 x 5-6.5 microns, ornamentation Patterson-Woo type B-2, C-2, (Woo), spores 6-8.5 x 5.5-7.5 microns, elliptic to nearly round, warts 0.1-0.2 microns high, at times less than 0.1 micron, "with broad bands and fine lines forming a reticulum"; pleurocystidia not abundant, 45-61 x 9-12 microns, "ventricose, acute, mucronate, or appendiculate, empty, granular, or banded", cheilocystidia few, 36-42 x 7-10 microns, "ventricose to clavate or subclavate, mucronate or appendiculate, empty"; subhymenium cellular; cap cuticle a zone of gelatinous, more or less repent hyphae, with pileocystidia embedded; hypodermium rather conspicuous, (Hesler), spores 5.5-8.5 x 5-6.5 microns, verrucose, with well-developed partial reticulum; hairs of cap cuticle with oblong slender cells (4-7 microns broad) and terminal cell long and slightly attenuated, (Hansen), spores 6-8.5 x 5-6.5 microns, (Moser), spores 5.7-8.5 x 5-6.5 microns (Romagnesi), spores 6-10.5 x 5-6 microns, nearly round to oval to suboval to subelliptic, ornamentation of "rather weak to moderately heavy warts often forming a partial to complete reticulum", warts 0.5-1 micron high; hymenial cystidia scattered to abundant, 42-78 x 9-12 microns, "projecting from hymenium, sometimes only slightly so, usually conspicuous, fusiform with tapering, obtuse to acute apices or occasionally with a narrow, somewhat elongated terminal appendage", colorless, "thin-walled, usually filled with amorphous contents"; cap cuticle 115-130 microns thick, epicutis "a layer of interwoven hyphae with numerous free tips and rather poorly differentiated pileocystidia", (Thiers), sulphovanillin +/- moderately purple (Buczacki)
Spore deposit:
cream-yellow, Crawshay C-D, (Woo), cream-yellowish (Lange), pale yellow to cream (Thiers)

Habitat / Range

deciduous woods (Lange, Woo following Rayner); in deciduous and coniferous forests, (Hansen), gregarious in conifer-hardwood or conifer forests, (Thiers), on soil in hardwood woodland, most frequently with Fagus, Quercus (oak), or Tilia (lime), usually in groups, +/- trooping, summer to fall, (Buczacki)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


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Species References

Lange(1), Hansen, L.(2), Moser(1), Hesler(7), Romagnesi(1), Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Woo(1), Thiers(3), Rayner(1), Roberts, C.(2), Bacon(1)*, Buczacki(1)*

References for the fungi

General References