The Sickener

Russula emetica

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

  • About

The Sickener Russula emetica (Schaeff.) Pers. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 3–10cm 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 40–90×7–20mm, 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 9–11×7.5–8.5µ, broadly ovate; large warts, 1.2µ high, connected by fine lines to form a large-meshed, almost complete network. Spore print whitish (A). Cap cystidia mostly narrowly club-shaped, with 0–1 septa. Habitat with pines; summer to late autumn. Common. Poisonous.