Observation 175827: Russula mariae Peck

When: 2014-08-30

Collection location: Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Gills multiply forked, occasionally over halfway between stipe and cap margin.


Proposed Names

48% (2)
Recognized by sight
-29% (1)
Recognized by sight
58% (2)
Recognized by sight: Except for the forking of the gills at variable positions.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Thanks, Dave…
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2014-09-01 14:10:09 CDT (-0500)

for a detailed workup of this russula.
The color or the cap and the “bloom”, the macrochemical tests, the spore print color and the microscopy all strongly point toward R. mariae. I don’t know if you have Kibby/Fatto guide to NE russulas, just to let you know that it reports several varieties of R. mariae, and yours could be one of them. The abundance of forking gills is puzzling but not enough to disprove the ID.
R. variata has a pattern to its forking gills — if you follow a gill from the original fork at the step, you will find that the gill will usually branch twice more. I’ve seen enough of it in Maine such that I don’t have to see it again for a long time. :)

More info…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-09-01 11:35:10 CDT (-0500)

KOH on cap surface quickly bright orange.

FeSO4 on stipe negative.

Spores mainly subglobose, a few broadly elliptic. With warts over 1 mu high. Photo posted.

This, along with the cap cuticle peeling well beyond halfway, all support… R. mariae…!

Some additional observations…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-09-01 01:47:48 CDT (-0500)

Taste pleasantly mild.

Color of caps, very close to what is seen in the photos, gray with purplish and olivaceus tones. Stipes flushed rosy red.

Harvested specimens over 24 hours ago, so peeling the cuticle may not accurately represent the species. Cuticle peels over 50% of radius on one specimen and about 80% on another one.

Probably the same as obs 169800 , which I had previously thought to be a color variation of R. mariae. But looking at it again, I see the same strange occasional forking of the gills about halfway between the stipe and margin, and near the margin.

I had thought variata was the only Russula with forks in the gills at variable distances from the stipe. But I’d bet $20 (my personal limit) these (present or linked obs) are not variata.

2cm < diameters < 3cm.

Nice thick spore drop inside my specimen box is pale yellow.

I’ll look at the spores tomorrow… getting tired.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2014-08-31 22:09:49 CDT (-0500)

How would you describe the cap color?
Was it mild or hot or bitter?
How much did it peel?
What’s the average cap diameter?
What about the spore print color and spore measurements?

Looks like a unique russula that may key out to something meaningful in Kibby/Fatto.