Birch Brittlegill

Russula betularum


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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Birch Brittlegill Russula betularum Hora (illustrated 80% life size) Cap 2โ€“5cm across, flattened convex, often with a central depression, margin becoming furrowed and with small, low warts; deep rose or pink, but often paler, pale dull golden-yellow to yellowish-buff at the centre or even entirely so; sticky when moist, thin-fleshed, fragile; completely peeling. Stem 25โ€“65ร—5โ€“10mm, cylindrical or narrow club-shaped, longer than the cap diameter; white; fragile. Flesh white; taste hot. Gills almost free, rather well-spaced, margin sometimes with small nicks; white. Spores 8โ€“10ร—7.5โ€“8ยต, ovate; warts 0.5โ€“0.7ยต high, joined by fine lines to form a well-developed but incomplete network. Spore print whitish (A). Cap cystidia cylindrical to strongly club-shaped, with 0โ€“2 septa. Habitat with birch, often in damp places; summer to early autumn. Common. Poisonous.

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