What You Should Know
Russula vesca is a common and widespread edible mushroom on mainland Europe and North America.
This mushroom appears in summer or autumn and grows primarily in deciduous forests.
In some countries, including Russia, Ukraine, and Finland Russula vesca is considered entirely edible even in the raw state.
Other names: Bare-Roothed Russula, The Flirt.
Russula vesca Mushroom Identification
6-9 (11) cm, fleshy and firm, from globose to convex and finally flattened, depressed in the center, the cuticle is separable for about one-third of the radius, smooth, opaque, almost velvety, in the adult fungus it shrinks leaving the margin uncovered, margin at the beginning inrolled, smooth.
The color varies from pink-brown to wine-red, flesh-colored or also pale chamois, the center is darker with ochreous nuances.
Adnate or slightly decurrent gills, thick, forked by the stem, almost lardy at the touch, frail, white or with a slight cream reflex, the edge stains often of rust.
3,5-7 x 1,5-3 cm, almost cylindrical, somewhat attenuated at the base, initially full then spongy. The color is white, at the base has some slightly yellow or brownish spots, the surface is smooth, later becoming rough.
Firm, hard, frail, white, flesh-colored under the cuticle of the cap; good smell, mild flavor.
It grows both under hardwood and under coniferous from early spring up to autumn, very common.
Egg-shaped, with isolated warts, white in mass, 6-8 × 5-6,3 µm.
Clavate, tetrasporic, without joint buckles, 42-52 × 8-10 µm.
Fusiform, obtuse or ogival, 8-10 µm wide.
Russula vesca Taxonomy and Etymology
Russula vesca was described and named in 1836 by the famous Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries.
Synonyms of Russula vesca include Russula mitis Rea.
Russula, the generic name, means red or reddish, and indeed many of the brittlegills have red caps (but many more are not, and several of those that are usually red can also occur in a range of other colors!).
The specific epithet vesca means edible - as of course do several other Latin words that appear in mushroom species names, such as esculenta, although there's a trap. Not all species with 'esculenta' in their names are safe to eat, although when they were named they were thought to be!
Photo 1 - Author: Dr. Hans-Günter Wagner (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Dr. Hans-Günter Wagner (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: pinonbistro (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Szabi237 (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
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