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Russula cystidiosa

[ Basidiomycetes > Russulales > Russulaceae > Russula . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Russula cystidiosa is an oak-loving red russula from eastern North America, featuring a bright red cap, a white stem, mild taste, and a creamy to yellowish spore print. Since several other species share these features, microscopic analysis is probably necessary for certain identification: Russula cystidiosa features abundant, clavate pileocystidia and spores with well developed warts.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with oaks and perhaps with other hardwoods; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in eastern North America from Florida to Illinois and New Jersey.

Cap: 3.5-11 cm; convex when young, becoming broadly convex to flat, sometimes with a shallow depression; dry, or sticky when wet; very finely velvety; bright red to deep pinkish red; the margin usually slightly lined at maturity; the skin peeling fairly easily, often halfway to the center or more.

Gills: Attached to the stem or running slightly down it; close or nearly distant; white when young but creamy or pale yellowish with maturity.

Stem: 2-7 cm long; 1-2 cm thick; white, or sometimes flushed with pink; dry; fairly smooth.

Flesh: White; unchanging when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste mild.

Spore Print: Creamy.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface orange; iron salts on stem surface negative to pinkish.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-12 x 6-10 µ; with high warts extending 1-2 µ high; connectors scattered, or sometimes creating reticulated areas. Pleurocystidia abundant; subclavate to fusiform or mucronate; projecting. Pileipellis a hyaline cutis with filamentous hyphal ends with acute apices; pileocystidia abundant, clavate to cylindric, to about 100 x 10 µ, ochraceous-refractive in KOH and weakly positive in sulphovanillin.

REFERENCES: Murrill, 1940 (original diagnosis). (Murrill, 1940; Kibby & Fatto, 1990; Fatto, 1998; Binion et al., 2008.) Herb. Kuo 08270503, 07050701, 06070804.


Russula cystidiosa

Russula cystidiosa

Russula cystidiosa

Russula cystidiosa

Russula cystidiosa

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Kuo, M. (2009, March). Russula cystidiosa. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: