Stinking Brittlegill

Russula foetens

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Stinking Brittlegill Russula foetens Pers. (illustrated 40% life size) Cap 5–12cm across, globose at first, later convex, finally flattening, at times with a central depression, margin furrowed and with small, low warts; dull brownish-ochre to honey-coloured; thick-fleshed, rigid, slimy or glutinous. Stem 50–120×15–40mm, cylindrical or swollen in the middle; whitish to buff; developing irregular cavities, hard and rigid but easily breaking. Flesh white; taste of gills very hot, of stem flesh almost mild, in addition bitter or oily, smell strongly oily or rancid. Gills adnexed, thickish, and well-spaced; creamy, often brown-spotted. Spores 8–10×7–9µ, somewhat globose; strong warts, up to 1.5µ high, isolated or an occasional fine line joining them. Spore print pale to medium cream (B–D). Cap cystidia cylindrical, tapering, or spindle-shaped, not reacting to SV. Habitat with broad-leaved trees or conifers; late summer to late autumn. Frequent. Not edible. Note the smaller, less rank-smelling R. subfoetens (opposite), is possibly more common. Similar to R. grata (opposite).