Humpback Brittlegill

Russula caerulea

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Humpback Brittlegill Russula caerulea (Pers.) Fr. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 3–8cm across, almost conical at first, later with a pointed to broad umbo (rarely absent), margin finally furrowed; livid violet, dark livid, dark wine-coloured or chestnut; hardly sticky when wet, fairly fleshy; one-quarter to two-thirds peeling. Stem 40–90×10–20mm, narrow, club-shaped; white; firm. Flesh white; taste mild but cap skin bitter. Gills adnexed to almost free, somewhat closely spaced at first; pale ochre. Spores 8–10×7–9µ, ovate; warts or spines up to 1–1.2µ high, some isolated, others joined in chains or by a few fine lines to form at most a rather scanty network with 0–2 meshes. Spore print palish ochre (G). Cap surface without cystidia; scattered hyphae with sparse encrustations staining in fuchsin. Habitat with pine; summer to autumn. Frequent where pines occur. Edible.