Russula foetens: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Russula foetens Mushroom
Russula foetens is a common Russula mushroom found in deciduous and coniferous forests. The cap is hemispherical and very slimy when young, soon convex, honey yellow to ochre brown, and up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. The gills and spores are pale creams. The strong stem is white or blotchy yellowish brown. The flesh has a strong acrid smell when old has a fishy smell and bad taste.
This is an inedible mushroom and is considered by many authorities to be a toxic toadstool. When gathering mushrooms for food the Stinking Brittlegill should therefore be avoided.
Other names: Stinking Russula.
Russula foetens Identification
5-10 cm diameter, at the first firm, becoming fragile, at first nearly globose, expanding and becoming plane to slightly depressed, yellowish or dingy ochraceous, glabrous, viscid, pellicle separable part way to the disk, margin widely and coarsely tuberculate-striate.
Thin, rather fragile, dingy white, yellowish under the pellicle, taste acrid, odor strong, resembling bitter almonds, then fetid.
Adnexed, rather close, broad, at first whitish, becoming yellowish with age and dingy when bruised, exuding drops of water when young, some forked.
5-12 cm high, 1.5-4 cm thick, equal or slightly tapering downwards, veined, white or dingy brown in age or when bruised, stuffed, becoming hollow.
Hyaline, globose to subglobose, 8-10 x 7-9 µm, ornamented with warts.
Gregarious on the ground in mixed woods, summer to autumn. Common.
Flesh salmon-pink with FeSO4.
Russula foetens Look-Alikes
Typically smaller but otherwise very similar to Russula foetens; it smells much more pleasant, of bitter almonds.
A rare species and considered by some authorities as a subspecies of Russula grata, is also similar in appearance, habitat and season.
Russula foetens Medicinal Properties
Antitumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of R. foetens and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 70% (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
Russula foetens Taxonomy & Etymology
The Stinking Brittlegill was described in 1796 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, who established its currently accepted scientific name Russula foetens.
Synonyms of Russula foetens include Agaricus foetens Pers.
Russula, the generic name, means red or reddish, and indeed many of the brittlegills have red caps.
The specific epithet foetens means stinking (as in foetid, or fetid as some prefer to spell it).
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