Blackening Brittlegill

Russula nigricans

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Blackening Brittlegill Russula nigricans (Bull.) Fr. (illustrated 30% life size) Cap 5–20cm across, convex, soon with a deep depression, margin incurved at first; dirty white, becoming brown and finally black; dry, fleshy; three-quarters peeling. Stem 30–80×10–40mm; white, then dull brown, finally black; hard. Flesh white, becoming greyish-rose on exposure and finally grey to black; taste slowly hot, smell fruity. Gills adnate, very thick and widely spaced, with numerous shorter gills between them; straw to olive, greyish-rose on bruising, eventually black; brittle. Spores 7–8×6–7µ, ovate; small warts under 0.5µ high, mostly connected by fine lines to form a fairly well-developed but partial network. Spore print white (A). No cap cystidia. Habitat with broad-leaved trees and conifers; summer to late autumn. Very common. Edible but poor.