Observation 24171: Russula Pers.

When: 2009-08-09

Collection location: Sebastopol, Sonoma Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Darvin DeShazer (darv)

No specimen available

Species Lists



Proposed Names

28% (3)
Recognized by sight: Under European birch in a lawn.
Used references: Thiers, Harry D. 1997. The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. Russulaceae I: Russula. Mad River Press, Eureka, CA.
72% (2)
Recognized by sight

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Cemetery lawn
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2009-08-11 09:32:26 CDT (-0500)

Yes, they were collected in a cemetery with a watered lawn during the summer. If fact, if you click above to the name “Russula versicolor”, all of the observations (7 of them), except Irene’s, are from the same cemetery, same lawn, under the same two Birch trees and the same exact spot on the lawn. Lots of variation in the cap color, especially with the temperature. I will look for yellow on the stipe in the future.

Thank you for the comments.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-08-11 09:13:12 CDT (-0500)

Thank you for the comments, they are very useful!

I assume Darvin collected these in a well irrigated lawn as they tend to produce a pretty good Russula crop in July/August in California, in line with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. I will check my spots too for more fruitbodies. I think at this point it is worth proposing a Russula sp. definition in order not to confuse people.

which one could that be?
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-08-11 05:21:23 CDT (-0500)

I’m not expert enough to solve this question, especially as I don’t know the american Russulae. For versicolor, as it is understood here in Europe, the yellow staining is missing on stipe and gills. Versicolor is very similar in most respects to R. puellaris, but differs by darker spore print, smaller and subreticulate spores and different ecology. Also versicolor is usually slightly acrid in the lamellae.
There is one european species in this group which fits macroscopically better: R. unicolor Romagnesi. But that is not reported from birch.
Be it as it is, without Spore print colour, taste and the microscopical details this collection will never have a chance to become a name.

Why not
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-08-11 02:05:59 CDT (-0500)

take contact and send some collection to the Russulales people?

I started
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-08-11 01:55:11 CDT (-0500)

with a question regarding this obs and the other californian “versicolor”, and I still can’t see an answer. One key feature in versicolor is the discolouring of the context to dark yellow on aging.

I can’t see much of it here, or in any other of Darwins obses, but I trust that they have that character, otherwise the name versicolor would never have been suggested – would it?
I’m afraid I don’t know the variations of this particular species well enough to judge..

The key part…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-08-10 23:38:03 CDT (-0500)

Still, the key part is that Darvin’s and my collection appear to be
the same — they look alike and are both from under Betula in a
lawn… But they don’t quite look like versicolor, can the Europeans
put in a word here. I have not seen versicolor in Europe and rely just
on books and photographs. The R. blackfordiae Peck description shows
some similarity, but the habitat is not convincing. Is this a local
Russula or some European import is a question too… Or some Northern
American/Alaskan Russula that loves birch, but is probably


By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-08-10 16:12:01 CDT (-0500)

Correct. I am rebuilding this entire Russula Section after a long postponement and doing a massive amount of Russula id work at the moment. This one was one of the next to be re-evaluated. But clearly it is not raoultii as the SP is non-white, in fact looking at the slides, it is quite much deeper. Why did I put that name — if I could back to 2006 I’d probably know better what was going on in my head, apparently not much… Anyway, it will be fixed. Let me know if you find something else. Otherwise the hosts for raoultii are listed as broadleaved trees, as well as Picea.

@Dimitar: Russula raoulti?
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-08-10 15:31:15 CDT (-0500)

Dimitar, why did you gave the linked collection on your page the name raoultii? In the european sense it is a small russula with slightly yellow cap, absolutely white gills and sporeprint colour and which is growing with Fagus.

Looks very much like it, but…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-08-10 02:06:46 CDT (-0500)

it is one of the 999 Russula that also look very close to something else, until I look them under… Russula identification requires a higher degree of dedication. Particularly in the Western USA.

[EDIT: Actually it doesn’t look at all like R. versicolor in the European
sense (Romagnesi, Sarnari, Galli, Breitenbach, Blum, Einhellinger,
etc.) It does look slightly like R. versicolor sensu Mike Davis from
UC Davis. To me it actually looks more like Russula raoultii sensu
Bojantchev, also found under planted Betula in California


Anyway, we need spores and pileal micro details at the minimum to id
Western Russula. Anything less is mostly nonsense.]

I wonder
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-08-10 01:53:28 CDT (-0500)

if the californian “versicolor” ever discolours like it should:

Created: 2009-08-09 16:46:00 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2018-01-03 09:40:33 CST (-0600)
Viewed: 163 times, last viewed: 2017-07-07 18:57:12 CDT (-0500)
Show Log