Observation 169675: Russula Pers.

When: 2014-07-13

Collection location: Buncombe Co., North Carolina, USA [Click for map]


Who: Mike Hopping (AvlMike)

No specimen available

Rich soil at trailside in a mixed hardwood forest. Cap initially encrusted with dirt that took some water and scrubbing to dislodge. Cap and stipe viscid when wet. Disc colored same as the periphery. Cap margin not lined. Skin peels slightly, no more than a third of the way to the disc. No distinctive smell. Taste slowly acrid. No red or black bruising reactions or when cut. Spore print white.


Russula albidula.jpg
Russula albidula gills.jpg

Proposed Names

54% (1)
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified
85% (1)
Recognized by sight
54% (1)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Mike Hopping (AvlMike)
2014-07-14 07:23:02 PDT (-0700)

Can I get an amen?

Russula albidula group
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2014-07-14 07:20:14 PDT (-0700)

Just type in Russula albidula group on this obs., and when the site responds that it is not recognized, go ahead and use it anyway. That will put it in the system for all frustrated white Russula identifiers. LOL.

Good answer
By: Mike Hopping (AvlMike)
2014-07-14 07:10:04 PDT (-0700)


I’d be happy to create an R. albidula group name. Since I don’t know better I’ll create a clearly bogus observation, name it that, then delete the fake observation. Afterwards I’ll suggest the new name for this one. In future, is there a simpler method of accessing the new name option?

By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2014-07-14 06:23:50 PDT (-0700)

Your comments are right on and express the frustration many of us feel with field identifications now that so many morphologically indistinguishable species are being discovered. I get annoyed seeing group after a species name and yet I use this sometimes myself. By the way, you can create Russula albidula group if you are so inclined. Regarding Arora’s book, it is a good one for western mushroom identification, less so in the East. As for Mushroom Observer, it is not primarily for academics but their input is important. Most of us would be OK (but not satisfied) with a good picture of a mushroom with a reasonable identification. As for white Russulas, I pretty much gave up on them years ago, not long after I gave up on most of the red ones!

Mildly surprised
By: Mike Hopping (AvlMike)
2014-07-13 21:24:33 PDT (-0700)


I value your expertise, immeasurably greater than mine will ever be. I also appreciate your “no microscopes or DNA” field mycology attitude. Most of us don’t and won’t have microscopes or ready access to DNA sequencers. It makes perfect sense to me that, for academic purposes, the most empirically solid basis for species identification be accepted as the gold standard.

However, most of us, including yourself, do not live in laboratories. We choose, or are forced, to make do with the evidence of five senses. In the absence of reliable and macroscopically tangible translations of genetic or microscopic findings, which may—or in this instance may not—exist, you would have us ignore historic understandings and retreat to an almost know-nothing position of “Russula”? That doesn’t even differentiate between red-capped and pale-capped Russulas with a white stem. Forget about acrid; we don’t even get that far. Clearly there are macroscopically observable differences between groups. Pending better useable field information, don’t these differences deserve to be somehow respected? If there’d been an option for choosing R. albidula group, I’d have taken it. There isn’t.

If microscopy or, more currently, DNA is to be the universally accepted standard for identifying fungi, how many species do we really know and how are we to recognize them when we see them in the field? I think academic fastidiousness may be going too far to matter to us hicks. Don’t you? If Mushroom Observer is primarily intended to serve the academic community, why not do away with bandwidth-hogging photographs of whole specimens and publish only photomicrographs of key cellular and spore elements and phase those out ASAP in favor of DNA sequences?

Microscopy needed
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2014-07-13 18:39:56 PDT (-0700)

Using Mushrooms Demystified for a North Carolina Russula is not likely to succeed.


Created: 2014-07-13 16:50:57 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2014-07-14 07:20:31 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 31 times, last viewed: 2017-06-18 08:17:27 PDT (-0700)
Show Log