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

Russula silvicola Shaffer
no common name

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi
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Distribution of Russula silvicola
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Species Information

Features include a cap that is a mixture of red and orange-yellow, white stem that becomes yellowish when old, growth usually on decaying wood, and microscopic characters including reticulate ornamentation on spores with warts, the ornamentation 0.2-1.4 microns high, and abundant pileocystidia. The description is derived from Shaffer(6). Some think that what is called this species on the west coast of North America is really Russula cremoricolor. Collections were studied from QC, MA, MI, NC, and VT, (Shaffer(6)). It has been reported by Roberts, C.(2) from Vancouver Island in BC, by Jumpponen(1) from WA, and by Kernaghan(1) from AB. There are collections at the University of British Columbia from BC and collections at the University of Washington from BC, WA, and OR., CHEMICAL REACTIONS on cap trama and stem surface: 10% FeSO4 moderate yellowish pink to grayish yellowish pink
2-8cm across, cushion-shaped to convex becoming convex to flat, sometimes with depressed disc, margin at first incurved; "dark to moderate red, strong red to deep pink, strong to deep or moderate reddish orange, light orange, or strong to deep or moderate to pale yellowish pink, sometimes uniformly or irregularly colored overall, but usually darker centrally and light marginally or vice versa, sometimes blotched with pale to moderate orange yellow, pale to light yellow, or almost white especially centrally when young, occasionally grayish red, grayish reddish orange, or light reddish brown centrally when mature"; viscid to almost dry, shiny, sometimes pruinose when very young, otherwise bald, occasionally minutely rugose-warted outward from disc, not striate at first, becoming finely tuberculate-striate 0.2-0.8cm from edge inward, cap skin easily separable 1/2 to 3/4 of the cap radius or even to the center
0.15-0.5cm thick at mid-radius, firm-brittle when young, becoming soft-brittle; yellowish white to white, or sometimes grayish due to water, unchanging when injured, sometimes tinged red just under the cap surface
adnexed, adnate, or subdecurrent, (sometimes seceding), close to subdistant, equal, or unequal with subgills rare to common and approaching the stem closely, occasionally forking at or near stem or not forking at all, intervenose; white to yellowish white, unchanging when injured
2-6(8.5)cm x 0.4-1.7(2)cm, flared at top or not, otherwise more or less equal or widening to the base, stuffed becoming hollow; "white, rarely with small areas of pale yellowish pink", becoming yellowish when old or grayish from water, unchanging when injured; dry, bald, longitudinally rugulose [wrinkled] (at times scarcely so)
faint fruity or spicy
slightly to strongly peppery
Microscopic spores:
spores 6.0-10.7 x 5.3-9.0 microns, usually broadly elliptic to broadly obovate, rarely nearly round, ornamentation of convex to conic or cylindric warts and occasional ridges, both up to 0.2-1.2 microns high, and numerous connectives, "forming a partial to complete reticulum whose units may be two warts joined by a connective, or catenulate warts, or a ridge"; basidia 4-spored, 28-51 x 7.3-13.6 microns, clavate; hymenial pseudocystidia 32-68 x 6.2-14.1, clavate to fusoid-clavate or fusiform, often mucronate to short appendiculate, "otherwise rounded, acute, or extruded-inflated apically", sometimes with a thin, colorless, bumpy sheath covering the upper part, cheiloleptocystidia 8-18 x 2.8-5.7, subcylindric to clavate, sometimes bent or curved, colorless; cap epicutis 68-85 microns thick, (cap subcutis 53-79 microns thick), with a gelatinous matrix, a trichoderm, sometimes tangled, of non-gelatinous to slightly gelatinous, branched or unbranched connective hyphal ends 1.0-4.0 microns wide or sometimes with slightly inflated cells up to 5.7 microns wide, cap also with numerous pseudocystidia, 25-230 x 2.8-11.3 microns, subcylindric to clavate, rarely or commonly 1-3 septate, (Shaffer), spores 7.2-11.2 x 6.5-8.8 microns. mostly broadly elliptic, occasionally nearly round, ornamentation of conic, peg-like or rounded, mostly heavy warts, 0.8-1.4 microns high, isolated or connected by fine to heavy lines, some 2-3 catenate forming short ridges, forming an often relatively wide partial reticulum, less often a complete reticulum, Patterson-Woo types C2, C3, D2, D3, (Roberts, C.(2))
Spore deposit:
yellowish white to white (Romagnesi 1a or more yellowish but never as dark as Romagnesi 1b)

Habitat / Range

single, scattered, gregarious, or almost cespitose [in tufts], usually on humus or rotten wood, rarely on Sphagnum, in coniferous or hardwood forests, [including fall]

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Shaffer(6), Roberts, C.(2), Jumpponen(1), Kernaghan(1)

References for the fungi

General References