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

Hygrophorus russula
Russula-like waxy-cap

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #53058)

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Distribution of Hygrophorus russula
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Species Information

Hygrophorus russula is recognized by 1) a coral-pink to vinaceous red cap usually streaked with purple-red or vinaceous fibrils, the cap surface viscid but soon dry, 2) hard flesh, 3) close to crowded gills, 4) a dry, smooth stem, 5) the absence of a veil, and 6) growth with hardwoods.

Collections were examined from WA, AL, IL, MA, MI, NY, TN, TX, Canada, and Belgium, and NC is included in the distribution, (Hesler(1)). There are collections from BC at Pacific Forestry Centre and the University of British Columbia. There are collections from OR at Oregon State University. There is a collection from AK at the University of Washington. The herbarium at the College of Idaho has a collection from ID. It also occurs elsewhere in Europe (including Switzerland - Breitenbach(3)).
5-13cm across, convex to flat or with uplifted margin when old, margin often incurved when young; coral-pink to vinaceous red, "usually streaked with purple-red or vinaceous fibrils", occasionally staining yellowish when rubbed or when old, "margin often paler or whitish"; viscid when wet but soon dry, smooth or minutely scaly, (Arora), 5-12cm across, hemispheric or convex, sometimes with broad umbo, margin often becoming elevated, margin long remaining inrolled; 'color variable: "shrimp pink," "cameo pink," "coral pink," "vinaceous pink" or "deep vinaceous," the margin whitish to "Chatenay pink," disc purplish red or pinkish red'; 'viscid, soon dry, usually streaked with purplish-red fibrils, smooth at first but breaking up into minute appressed-fibrillose patches' giving the disc a granulose to subscaly [somewhat scaly] appearance, 'sometimes staining yellowish when rubbed', margin finely cottony-pubescent, (Hesler), margin often with a zone of purplish watery spots, (Largent)
thick; white or tinged pink, (Arora), thick, firm; white or tinged pinkish, (Hesler), firm, quite hard, similar to Russula Section Compactae, (Largent)
"usually adnate but sometimes adnexed or slightly decurrent", close to crowded (120-150 reaching the stem), soft, slightly waxy; white at first but soon flushed pink and developing purplish-red to vinaceous stains when old, (Arora), bluntly adnate, becoming decurrent, rather close, 120 to 130 reaching the stem, narrow to moderately broad, acuminate [gradually narrowing] at both ends; white when young but soon flushed with pale pink ''and later spotted with sordid purplish-red spots'', sometimes sordid purplish red overall when old, (Hesler), adnate to subdecurrent, 63-78 reaching stem, 3-7 subgills between neighboring gills, narrow; "white when young, later with purple-wine-red spots"; edges smooth, (Breitenbach)
3-10cm x 1.5-3.5cm, usually stout, equal or narrowing in lower part, solid; white at first, ''soon stained or streaked pink to reddish or vinaceous''; dry, smooth, (Arora), 3-7cm x 1.5-3.5cm, equal or narrowing slightly downward, or at times subventricose [slightly wider in middle], solid; white at first becoming stained, streaked or washed pinkish, finally colored more or less as cap; dry, top pruinose to bald, lower part bald, (Hesler), at first bald, then typically developing purplish red punctae particularly at the apex when old, on exposure or when dried, punctae may extend over the entire surface, eventually the surface becoming colored as the cap, (Largent)
absent (Arora)
typically mild (Arora), mild (Hesler)
typically mild, (Arora), mild (Hesler), sometimes slightly bitter, (Lincoff(1))
Microscopic spores:
spores 6-8 x 3-5 microns, elliptic, smooth; gill tissue slightly divergent, (Arora), spores 6-8 x 3-4.5(5) microns, elliptic, smooth, inamyloid; basidia 4-spored, 40-53 x 5-6 microns; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia absent; gill tissue divergent with a mediostrate composed of large hyphae, 5-16 microns broad; clamp connections present on gill trama and cap cuticle hyphae, (Hesler)
Spore deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

scattered to gregarious or in fairy rings in mixed woods and under hardwoods, associated mainly with oaks, (Arora), gregarious, "at times in arcs or fairy rings", "in oak and mixed oak-pine woods", August to December, (Hesler), summer, fall, winter

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Melanoleuca russula (Gillet) Murrill
Tricholoma russula (Fr.) Gillet

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Genetic information (NCBI Taxonomy Database)
Taxonomic Information from the World Flora Online
Index Fungorium
Taxonomic reference: Ench. Fung. p. 49. 1886; Melanoleuca russula (Gillet) Murrill; Tricholoma russula (Fr.) Gillet

Additional Range and Status Information Links


choice according to some (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Hesler(1)* (colors individually in double quotation marks from Ridgway(1)), Arora(1)*, Phillips(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Lincoff(1)*, Kibby(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bessette(2), Barron(1)*, Stuntz(4), Breitenbach(3)*, Largent(4), Miller(14)*, Bessette(1) (discussing Hygrophorus purpurascens), Moser(1), Siegel(2)*, Bessette(7)*

References for the fungi

General References