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When: 2013-08-10

Collection location: Maple Shade Twp., Burlington Co., New Jersey, USA [Click for map]

Who: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)

No specimen available

I found a few of these growing near my home under a single Pinus strobus tree. We had a lot of rain from June on, but to my knowledge it’s the first crop of this Russula species, or any kind of a mycorrhizal mushroom for the matter, under this tree. The only other nearby tree is a mature sweet gum. The nearest oaks are about 20 yards away across a paved parking lot, so they aren’t “involved”.

So far only two 3 specimens have their caps expanded, and the largest of these measures 6 cm across. The cap color of the young buttons (not collected) is pale bluish lilac-lavender and, unlike the mature ones pictured here, the buttons lack green tones. The cuticle consistently peels 1/2 to 3/4. The context taste is mild and the odor is pleasant, faint and ephemeral. The gills are fragile and greasy-waxy to touch, forking only at the juncture with the stipe, though I did find a couple of random forks in the middle. This russula keys out to Group 27 in Fatto & Kirby (BIKNPT).

The spore print is white (“A” in Kirby/Fatto). I used 5% Lugol’s solution (no Melzer’s yet) to stain the spores. They appear more dextrinoid than amyloid when mounted in I2KI. The warts are clearly isolated with some rare, scattered connectors.

Kuo says R. cyanoxantha is a European species, and the North American taxon could be different; it could also be a species complex.


Proposed Names

29% (1)
Used references: 1) “Keys to the Species of Russula in Northeastern North America” by G. Kibby & R. Fatto
Based on microscopic features: Subglobose to globose spores with isolated warts & rare, scattered connectors
Based on chemical features: KOH erases the green pigment, then stains cuticle orange

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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