Collection location: Howarth Park, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Every time I see a Russula I get all excited because they’re often so pretty and then I’m thinking, “Oh, drat, I’m never going to be able to identify this!”
These had a mild taste and I was thinking they must be R. basifurcata but then I saw some pictures of R. abietina that had similar colors. I couldn’t find a description of R. abietina online to give any clues one way or another. And who knows if there’s another Russula out there that fits the bill? I can tell you they’re fruiting with bay and oak and you’ll notice there’s some forking of the gills, which Mykoweb describes as a characteristic of R. basifurcata.
I think anyone that has tried to id a Russula more than once, has been there…
But the problem is the mild yellow spored Russulas, there are way too many, or people have split them up into too many. But I think the thing about R. abietina is that you are going to find it with pine or D. fir, not hardwoods. Also it has muted colors, but they don’t fade, they just start and stay muted. Also there should always be pink, red, green, and purple on each cap at the same time.
The forking on the gills, I’ve now seen a lot, in many species, and I’m not sure how well that actually separates anything. There always seem to be notes on forking at the stipe vs. forking at the margin, and “occationally” forking, which I don’t know does that mean a few gills on each cap, or only a few caps will have forking on every gill? And so on, I think we need to get more data on that one before it can be used for anything.