|Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Pale-Spored > Russula > Russula pulchra|
by Michael Kuo
One of a gazillion red species in the genus Russula, Russula pulchra features a dull and unpolished cap that develops a cracked surface with age, a stem that is often flushed with pink, a creamy spore print, and mild taste. It is associated with hardwoods in eastern North America. Microscopic features (which should probably be verified for positive identification) include elliptical spores with well developed warts, and a distinctive pileipellis that lacks pileocystidia but features multi-septate end cells.
Cap: 5-10 cm; convex when young, becoming broadly convex to flat, sometimes with a shallow depression; sticky when fresh or wet, but usually dry when collected; very finely velvety; often developing cracks with maturity; scarlet to pinkish red when fresh but often fading to orangish red or peach red; the margin usually lined at maturity; the skin peeling with difficulty, usually only near the margin.
Gills: Attached to the stem or running slightly down it; nearly distant; white when young but creamy with maturity.
Stem: 3-7 cm long; 1-2 cm thick; white, often with a flush of 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 yellow.
Microscopic Features: Spores 6.5-9 x 5.5-7.5 µ; with warts up to
Russula flavisiccans is very similar, but has a bitter to unpleasant taste; additionally, its stem is never flushed with pink, its surfaces often become brownish when handled, its cap turns pink with KOH, and its flesh, stem, and gills become yellow when dried. It also differs microscopically.
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Kuo, M. (2009, March). Russula pulchra. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/russula_pulchra.html