Collection location: Los Trancos Preserve, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Ok, I think these are right, but as always with Russulas it seems, I’m not completely sure. They are acrid, but they are slowly acrid, taking 5-10 secs. to really develop the burn. The caps are reddish, which could be R. silvicola (R. cremoricolor), but those are always quickly acrid for me. Plus these are not really red. The caps are differently shaped than most of the R. silvicola I find, more centrally depressed and upturned. Also the color is more pink, with salmon-orange-pink tones. The older caps, the color is fading away to a brown grey, with only the center pinkish/red/salmon-orange.
With the white gills, in Theirs this point to R. simillima. The notes for that one says these could be confused with R. bicolor, and the notes for R. bicolor say that it fades to only red at the margin, where these are fading to only red at the center. But in the discription for these it mentions that sometimes these end up darker in the disc, so I don’t know. Also there is R. paxilloides which also fades as it ages. But those are very acrid, and say were only discribed from oaks near Stanford. But then again these are near Stanford and under oaks… so I don’t know. But the closest seems to be R. simillima.
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