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

Russula decolorans
graying russula

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Kit Scates-Barnhart  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19037)

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Distribution of Russula decolorans
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Species Information

Clade Russula crown. There is no genetic evidence of the presence of Russula decolorans in the Pacific Northwest, but a species like R. decolorans shows DNA close to collections identified as Russula vinososordida Ruots. & Vauras (D. Miller, pers. comm.), a species associated with birch in northern Europe. (DNA from an orange Russula with graying flesh among Ben Woo''s collections proved to match Russula vinososordida.) Russula decolorans is characterized by 1) a coppery orange red cap that fades to yellow only when old, 2) white flesh that is reddish when cut, then soon grayish to grayish black, 3) a white stem that grays when old, 4) mild taste, and 5) a deep cream to yellow spore deposit.

It has been reported from WA (Grund, Ammirati(5)), and was included in Pacific Northwest key (Woo(1)). C. Roberts (pers. comm.) says this species or something close occurs on Vancouver Island in BC (but she did not include it in her thesis). Collections with this label from BC are deposited at the Pacific Forestry Centre and the University of British Columbia. There are collections at Oregon State University from OR. Phillips says it is found in northern North America. It also occurs in Europe.
4-10cm across, nearly spherical when young; coppery orange red, fading to yellow only when old; margin even, peeling 1/2, (Woo), 4-10cm across, nearly spherical when young, becoming flat or slightly depressed, fleshy and fragile; constantly orange, varying from light orange to honey or almost brick orange, sometimes becoming a greenish yellow, brownish or faded color, later with black flesh showing through cap; "slightly viscid and smooth or somewhat uneven under a lens, soon dry and scarcely shiny", firm cuticle is separable about halfway, margin remaining smooth for a long time, (Pilat), 4-11cm across, nearly round then broadly convex. then flat with slight depression; reddish orange to yellow-orange or brick-colored, "stains darker brown or blackish when injured"; smooth, margin slightly sulcate [grooved] when old, cap skin hardly peels from cap, (Phillips)
firm; white, "reddish when cut, then soon gray to grayish black", (Woo), "white, usually turning a faint dirty honey-red when cut", sooner or later becoming gray to grayish-black, often blackish-gray reticulate at the very base when young, (Pilat), white, strongly graying, (Phillips)
"creamy white becoming yellow, blackening on edges when bruised", gray when old, (Woo), adnate to emarginate, broadly rounded at cap margin but narrowed near stem; "almond white, later creamy to butter colored, often with a lemon tinge, turning black at the edges, particularly if bruised or dried out", becoming gray when old, (Pilat), strongly interveined; pale ocher, blackening, (Phillips)
white, graying when old, (Woo), 2-12cm x 1.2-2cm, equal to somewhat club-shaped, more rarely slightly wider in middle, "solid and firm, often quite hard in dry weather, later spongy inside"; white, graying slightly from base, later usually wrinkled gray, (Pilat), 4.5-10cm x 1-2.5cm, often club-shaped; white, graying, (Phillips)
none (Woo), insignificant (Pilat), not distinctive (Phillips)
mild (Woo, Phillips), mild, sometimes somewhat sharp when young, (Pilat)
Microscopic spores:
spores 9-14 x 7-12 microns, Patterson-Woo type A-3, B-3, (Woo), spores 10-14 x 9-12 microns, round to round-elliptic, with coarse spines up to 1.5 microns long, "which are usually isolated, rarely with ridges, sometimes with prominences or joined together", (Pilat), spores (8.5)9.2-11.5(13.5) x (6.7)7-9(10) microns, oboval to elliptic, strongly echinulate, with spines tall and sometimes wide, attaining 1.5 x 1 microns, irregularly amyloid, with some connectives; cystidia 72-115 x 10-14.5 microns, fusiform-ventricose, rather pointed and attenuate at the top, more rarely with subapical "renflement" or with short appendage, numerous, (Romagnesi), spores 9-14 x 7-12 microns, oval, warts up to 1.5 microns high, very few connectives, (Phillips), sulphanillin faintly purple (Buczacki)
Spore deposit:
deep cream to yellow, Crawshay E-F, (Woo), rich cream to butter color (Pilat), deep yellow, Crawshay E-F, (Phillips)

Habitat / Range

conifer woods (Woo), in the moss of damp pine forests (Pilat), under conifers, August to October, (Phillips), summer, fall

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


edible, but several lookalikes of unknown edibility, (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Pilat(1), Romagnesi(1) (in French), Phillips(1)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Ammirati(5), Barron(1)*, Woo(1), Arora(1) (as R. decolorans group), Grund(2), Buczacki(1)*

References for the fungi

General References