The Sickener

Russula emetica

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

The Sickener Russula emetica (Schaeff.) Pers. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 3โ€“10cm across, convex, later flattening or with a shallow depression, margin often furrowed when old; scarlet, cherry-, or blood-red, sometimes with ochre tint to the white areas; somewhat thin-fleshed, fragile, shiny, sticky when moist; easily peeling to show pink to red flesh beneath. Stem 40โ€“90ร—7โ€“20mm, cylindrical or more usually somewhat swollen towards the base; white; fragile. Flesh white, red immediately beneath cap cuticle; taste very hot, smell slightly fruity. Gills adnexed to free; cream then pale straw. Spores 9โ€“11ร—7.5โ€“8.5ยต, broadly ovate; large warts, 1.2ยต high, connected by fine lines to form a large-meshed, almost complete network. Spore print whitish (A). Cap cystidia mostly narrowly club-shaped, with 0โ€“1 septa. Habitat with pines; summer to late autumn. Common. Poisonous.

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