Olive Brittlegill

Russula olivacea


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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Olive Brittlegill Russula olivacea (Schaeff.) Fr. (illustrated 40% life size) Cap 6โ€“16cm across, almost globose at first, later flattened or slightly depressed, often irregular, margin inrolled at first; varying considerably in colour from straw, pale ochre, or shades of olive or brown to dull purple or purplish-red; firm or hard, thick-fleshed; peeling up to one-third only. Stem 50โ€“100ร—15โ€“40mm; white, usually tinged rose or entirely so, yellowing slightly or browning around base, flesh livid purple with phenol solution; fairly hard. Flesh white; taste mild, nutty. Gills adnexed, forking and with cross-connections near stem; deep buff-straw. Spores 8โ€“11ร—7โ€“9ยต, ovate; warts up to 1.5ยต high, not or occasionally joined by lines. Spore print ochre (Gโ€“H). Cap cystidia absent; hyphae with rectangular, barrel- or ampoule-shaped cells, the terminal one sometimes strongly inflated. Habitat with beech; summer to autumn. Uncommon. Edible. Note similar to R. alutacea (below).

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