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Russula silvestris

Russula silvestris

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Grows in woodland, especially with Sweet Chestnut, Oak and Pine

  • Can be found as individual specimens or in large groups

  • Smells very slightly of desiccated coconut

  • Cap pinky-in colour, often paler in the centre

  • Slight striations visible at edge of cap

  • Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens with age

  • Skin on cap peels 75 - 100% 

  • Width of cap is 3-5cm

  • White stem between 4 and 9cm tall and and 1-2cm in diameter

  • No ring/skirt

  • Stem sometimes has swollen base and snaps like a piece of chalk

  • Flesh is white

  • Taste is very acrid (only do nibble test with Russula)

  • Fairly crowded and free or adnexed gills

  • Gills white 

  • Spore print is white

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Russula silvestris

Poisonous mushroom - advanced identification

Other common names: None known


Scientific name meaning: Russula is from the Latin Russus, meaning reddish. Silvestris is also Latin and means of or belonging to a wood

Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn

Habitat - where will I find it? Russula silvestris is found in woodland 

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: Russula silvestris is a mycorrhizal mushroom growing in association with deciduous trees, especially Sweet Chestnut and Oak, and sometimes with the coniferous Pine. It can be found as individual fruits or in large groups 

Cap: Pinky-red in colour and sometimes paler in the centre, it starts off dome shaped and flattens slightly with age. It is 3 - 5cm wide and has faint striations at its margin. The skin will peel 75 - 100% of the cap

Gills: The white gills are adnexed to free and brittle. They are fairly crowded

Flesh: White 

Taste: Very acrid (Only do nibble test with Russula)

Stem: White and sometimes swollen at the base. It snaps like a piece of chalk. It is 4 - 9cm tall and 1 - 2cm wide, and has no ring/skirt

Smell: Very slight of desiccated coconut

Spore colour: White 

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with many of the red Russula, and possibly a Fly Agaric if rain has washed veil remnants away

Poisonous parts All parts are poisonous 

Use in herbal medicine Until recently was classed as The Sickener (Russula emetica), which has been used to induce vomiting in other poisoning cases. 

This mushroom is poisonous, do not consume.

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards This mushroom is poisonous and should not be consumed. Consumption of this mushroom will cause severe gastric distress

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

Russula silvestris gills
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