Crowded Brittlegill Russula acrifolia Romagn. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 3–12cm across, flattened convex at first, later with a depression, cup- or funnel-shaped, margin incurved at first; whitish or dull brown in the centre or all over, eventually blackish; fleshy, sticky when moist. Stem 25–80×6–30mm; white then dull brown to blackish, reddish on bruising; hard. Flesh white at first when cut, becoming tinged reddish and soon greyish as well, finally dark grey to brownish-blackish; taste hot or very hot, but sometimes almost mild, smell not distinctive. Gills slightly decurrent, closely spaced, rather narrow and not thick, interspersed with shorter gills; white to pale cream. Spores 7–9.5×6–7.5µ, ovate; small warts under 0.5µ high, joined by numerous fine lines to form a well-developed network. Spore print whitish (A). Cap cystidia few, narrow, not reacting to SV. Cap hyphae 3–4µ wide, cylindrical or narrowing towards the apex. Habitat with broad-leaved trees and conifers; summer to autumn. Rare. Edible but mediocre. Note I included this under the name R. densifolia (Secr.) Gillet in my first book; this mushroom is now thought to be a less common species of chalky soils. Note Similar to R. adusta (opposite).