Purple Brittlegill

Russula atropurpurea Krombh

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Purple Brittlegill Russula atropurpurea (Krombh.) Britzelm. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 4–10cm across, convex, later flattening and with a slight depression; usually deep purplish-red with a darker, often almost black centre, at times variously mottled with yellowish- or brownish-cream; sticky when moist. Stem 30–60×10–20mm; white, often becoming greyish with age; fairly firm at first, later softer and easily broken. Flesh white; taste from almost mild to moderately hot, smell slightly fruity, reminiscent of apples. Gills adnexed, closely spaced, fairly broad; palish cream. Spores 7–9×6–7µ, ovate; warts joined by fine ridges to form a well-developed but not quite complete network. Spore print whitish (A–B). Cap cystidia abundant, cylindrical to somewhat club-shaped, without septa. Habitat usually with oak or beech, less commonly conifers; summer to late autumn. Very common. Edible if cooked. Note although the name R. atropurpurea is accepted to be incorrect, none of the proposed changes (such as R. krombholzii) has been found to be acceptable by many mycologists.