Russula anthracina

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Russula anthracina Romagn. (illustrated 45% life size) Cap 7–12cm across, flattened convex, later with a depression or saucer-shaped, margin inrolled; dirty white, very soon becoming blackish-brown to black with a hint of blue-grey; firm, somewhat thin-fleshed, slightly sticky, soon dry; only one-quarter peeling. Stem 30–60×15–30mm; concolorous with cap. Flesh white, blackening on exposure to air or on bruising; taste mild to slightly hot, slightly bitter. Gills slightly decurrent, narrow, arc-shaped, somewhat closely spaced, interspersed with numerous shorter ones; whitish to buff; all parts blacken on bruising or with age. Spores 7–9×6.5–8µ, ovate-elliptical; small warts up to 0.4µ high, joined by fine lines to form a delicate network. Spore print white (A). Cap surface of prostrate hyphae, 2–6µ wide; cystidia present. Habitat with conifers and broad-leaved trees; summer to autumn. Uncommon. Edible. Note in my first book this fungus was included as R. albonigra (Krombh.) Fr., but I am now following Romagnesi.