Charcoal Burner

Russula cyanoxantha

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

  • About

Charcoal Burner Russula cyanoxantha (Schaeff.) Fr. (illustrated 50% life size) Fr. Cap 5–15cm across, first globose, later flattening to depressed at the centre; sometimes one colour but usually a mixture, dullish lilac, purplish, wine-coloured, olive, greenish, or brownish, sometimes entirely green (sometimes separated into f. peltereaui Singer), with faint, branching veins radiating from centre; firm to hard, greasy when moist; half peeling. Stem 50–100×15–30mm; white, sometimes flushed purple; giving no or a slightly greenish reaction when rubbed with iron salts, not salmon as in most Russulas; hard. Flesh white; taste mild. Gills adnexed to slightly decurrent, whitish to very pale cream, rather narrow; oily to the touch, flexible, not brittle as in most Russulas, forked at times. Spores 7–9×6–7µ, broadly elliptical; low warts, up to 0.6µ high; fine lines absent. Spore print whitish (A). Cap cystidia scattered, small, short and narrow (2–4µ), cylindrical, teat-ended. Habitat with broad-leaved trees; summer to late autumn. Very common. Edible good.