What You Should Know
Russula heterophylla is an edible wild mushroom, that is placed in the genus Russula, the members of which are mostly known as brittlegills. It is a variably colored mushroom, found in deciduous forests, and woods in Britain, Europe, and Scandinavia. Appearing with broad-leaved trees in summer to early autumn, it usually has a greenish coloration.
Other names: Greasy Green Brittlegill.
Russula heterophylla Mushroom Identification
The cap is 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter. It is known to vary in color and can be various shades of green, brown, or ochre. It is initially round, flattening with age, and later develops depression.
The white stem is firm, browning, and gives a salmon reaction when rubbed with ferrous sulfate.
The gills are adnexed, and white giving a spore print of the same color.
The spores are the smallest in the genus, and are 5–7 by 4–6 µm, spherical to elliptical, or pear-shaped; warts 0.2–0.6 µm high, mostly isolated, but occasionally two or three joined together or connected by a line.
Distribution and Habitat
Appear in summer to early autumn, usually growing in small groups. It is occasional in Britain, Europe, and Scandinavia. It grows with several species of broad-leaved trees, on the roots of which it is ectomycorrhizal.
Russula heterophylla Look-Alikes
Has a cracked or fragmented cap surface.
Grows with Birch.
Has a green reaction to ferrous sulfate, and smells like shellfish, with flesh that stains orange-brown.
Has a green rather than pink reaction to ferrous sulfate.
Grows in Southern Europe under holm oak, less often under cork oak and downy oak.
Grows under oaks, always with Montpellien or sage-leaved cistus.
Russula heterophylla Taxonomy
Noted and described by the South African-born mycologist Christian Hendrik Persoon as Agaricus lividus in 1801. It was placed in the Russula Genus by the Swedish mycologist, and botanist Elias Magnus Fries in 1838, with the epithet heterophylla. Despite many changes, by several mycologists over the years since then, it is this binomial that is currently recognized and is in use present.
The variants Russula heterophylla var. chlora Gillet 1876, and Russula heterophylla var. virginea (Cooke and Massee) A.Pearson & Dennis, have been given species status as Russula violeipes, and Russula virginea respectively.
Russula heterophylla Synonyms
Agaricus furcatus var. heterophyllus Fr., 1821
Agaricus galochrous Fr., 1815
Agaricus heterophyllus (Fr.) Sacc., 1887
Agaricus lividus Pers., 1801, nom. illeg.
Russula furcata var. heterophylla (Fr.) P.Kumm., 1871
Russula galochroa (Fr.) Fr., 1874
Russula heterophylla f. galochroa (Fr.) Singer, 1923
Russula heterophylla var. galocroa (Fr.) Gillet, 1876
Russula heterophylla var. livida Gillet, 1876
Russula heterophylla var. virginea (Cooke & Massee) A.Pearson & Dennis, 1948
Russula livida (Gillet) J.Schröt., 1889
Russula livida var. galochroa (Fr.) J.Schröt., 1889
Russula livida var. virginea (Cooke & Massee) Melzer & Zvára, 1927
Russula rigida Velen., 1920
Russula virentirubens var. rigida (Velen.) Hornicek, 1988
Russula virginea Cooke & Massee, 1890
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