Collection location: Los Trancos Preserve, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Ok, I need a caveat on all the Russula ids from up there. But after saying that…
I am getting more certain about these as R. paxilloides. The color of these is a nice deep bright rose red, which matches the discription in Theirs, and something like R. simillima doesn’t list such a color (although it does have pinkish red with salmon tones what ever that might be). Another detail is the taste, where these are now off the scale for acrid, quickly acrid and very strong, in the oh my god get it off my tongue it burns, it burns type of acrid. So, that matches the description of “very acrid” for the species. The samples from two weeks ago had a similar color, but lighter, which can fit since the color is supposed to lighten as it grows, but the taste was less acrid. Not sure, but probably the acrid taste can be variable, and certainly depends on the amount of moisture in the mushroom.
These don’t show any forking of the gills, like the sample from two weeks ago. So, not sure what is up there, part of the “rarely forking near the margin” I guess.
The second photo shows slight pink tones in the stipe. I think these are from the light showing through the cap and adding some color to the shadow, and not the actual color of the stipe, which was fairly pure white.