Observation 35088: Russula Pers.

When: 2009-08-28

Collection location: West of Bovec, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia [Click for map]

Who: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)

No specimen available

Could also be Russula norvegica (var. with red pileus). Pileus had a diameter of about 4-5 cm (2 inch), which is a little bit too large, both for R. nana ad well as for R.norvegica. Mycorrhiza possibly with dwarf willows (Salix herbacea, Salix retusa, Salix serpillifolia), Dryas octopetala, Bistrota vivipara…? Found well above tree line.

Russula nana, syn.: Russula alpina, Russula emetica var. alpina

Lat.: 46.44569 Long.: 13.64541
Code: Bot_374/2009-2648

Habitat: upland grassland above tree-line, with dwarf Salix sp. species, on a mountain ridge, slightly north inclined slope, full sun, fully exposed to precipitations, a windy place, precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 1 – 3 deg C, elevation 2.100 m (6.900 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: soil.

Place: North Mangart’s flats, west of Mt. Travnik, 2.204 m (7.231 feet), East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Nikon D70/ Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8


Motic B2-211A, magnification 400 x, in water.

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: (1) Personal communication with Mr. Gregor Podgornik, NAC (Natural History Center), Tolmin, Slovenia EC
(2) http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/...
(3) http://www.floraislands.is/cappic.htm
(4) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1132142%20R.%20nana
(5) http://www.mtsn.tn.it/russulales-news/in_ecology.asp
Based on microscopic features: Spore dimensions: 8,5 (SD=0.8) x 6,7 (SD=0.5) micr., Q= 1.26 (SD=0.08), n=33. Motic B2-211A, magnification 400 x, in water.
85% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
If you can’t beat them, eat them..
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-03-26 16:46:18 PDT (-0700)

If you scan through Sarnari, or open “Funghi Alpini” by Jamoni (AMB) (covering that area) and when I add my own bewildering experience with those montane summer Russulas from the area, I know that any name on the cap color alone is most likely to be wrong. Not just wrong, but stupid wrong. Could be this, could be that is just as good as “I have not the faintest clue…” There are several reddish Russulas listed from montane areas of Southern Europe, including R. nana, R. chamitae/subrubens, R. Pascua, R. laccata, R. alpigenes and I swear they all look alike. Additionally, dealing with a single fruitbody is hopeless.

Still, the European Russula is fun to id and one is almost guaranteed to get somewhere. If you wanna go nuts come to the Rocky Mountains Colorado in the Summer and try to id that Russula mess there..

Amadej, you’re learning just like me – one step at a time – but consider that the study of Russula is not a casual matter, but a calling for life… Or, a bit more serious methodology, plus a collection of good literature. Otherwise one is not more likely to call it right than identifying some Amoeba although that there are a lot of people out there (including me) who think they know them well, but they don’t. Now, not to sound pompous, but people should get some sense that these species are much easier to eat than to id well.. “If you can’t beat them, eat them…”


P.S. Johannes, you want to id them down to Section. Not a bad idea. For starters, how many Russula Sections have you heard of? Next, what are the key features? If you do not know these answers then you can consider how much value there is in throwing some speculative infrageneric systematics. With Amanita it makes sense cause you’ve got somebody who kinda keeps the light on and has a site where you can check. But with Russula, it is harder. I try to do some informative studies on the Corts so that people can drill down a bit into the id abyss..

Is there some way?
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2010-03-26 07:10:49 PDT (-0700)

that we can classify Russula sp like this into sections of the genus but not to the species? instead of species?

Many thanks to all of you for your valuable comments.
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2010-03-26 03:10:37 PDT (-0700)
Unfotunately, I am afraid I have to dissapoint you. This was my first spore photo in my life (at 400x magnification only) and at that time I was unaware that taste and smell are so important for determination, particularly for genus Russula. So I can’t answer your questions. As far as I can remember spore print was neither snow-white nor strongly colored, a kind of whitish-pale-yellowish and it was not abundant, which makes my judgment even more questionable. Mushroom grew solitary.

In meantime Mr. Bojan Rot, http://www.gobenabovskem.si/ also proposed (among several other possibilities) Russula chamiteae but he also finds the information provided as insufficient for a firm determination.

Anyway, in my ignorance I thought that quite specific habitat, high elevation and limited mycorrhiza partners there would eventually suffice to come up with an acceptable determination. But evidently I was wrong. Next time I will be more thorough information provider. For the time being Russula sp. would probably be the most realistic ‘determination’.

Thanks again.

I was thinking
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-03-26 00:09:27 PDT (-0700)

the same as Johannes, with that soft, discolouring marrow.

Here is an example of a small alpine shrimp, Russula chamiteae (bitter taste!):

Reminds me of Russula vinosa a bit…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-03-25 18:43:36 PDT (-0700)

This is one is from Bulgaria — 1900m elevation, Pirin mountain.. But we need a good spore ornamentation shot..


Any particular smell?
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2010-03-25 18:26:53 PDT (-0700)

almost looks like it could be of the Russula xerempelina group with those staining
and colors…but what do I know….

That spores shot ain’t cutting it…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-03-25 16:12:11 PDT (-0700)

Amadej, I agree with Irene that it doesn’t quite look like R. nana. Your material reminds me of some of the mildish, montane species we see in the Balkans — the Italian sources cover them pretty well. But that will require more analysis. Anyway, the spores shot mounted in water shows no useful diagnostic information. You know that for Russula you need to show the ornamentation with Melzer’s and max magnification — something like that:


Mild or acrid?
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-03-25 11:21:14 PDT (-0700)

I do not recognize this as Russula nana. It has a bright red cap, not purplish like this one.

This is intriguing!
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2010-03-25 07:57:57 PDT (-0700)

what color were the spores? white?

Created: 2010-03-25 06:36:29 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2010-12-09 11:53:58 PST (-0800)
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