Monday, March 5, 2012

Myco Monday: Just another Russula

Russula, possibly emetica
Mushrooms of the genus Russula are relatively easy to identify by their brittle bodies - the stems will snap like a piece of chalk. I suppose that used to be a good character when most people had experience with chalk, but I wonder if so now? Alas, although easy to id to genus, species identification is very difficult, some cause gastrointestinal upset, and some taste very bitter or acrid. Given the poor reputation of most species as an edible (e.g. to quote David Aurora: 'better kicked than picked', 'better punted than hunted', 'better trampled than sampled' etc. or 'Unequivocally inedible and possibly poisonous'), I suppose it is best to leave these to adorn the yard.

I think this mushroom is part of the Russula emetica complex, because of its red, peeling cap, and its mycorrhizal association with the roots of the White Spruce in the front yard. If I needed an emetic, I suppose I might be tempted to try it, but I think I will restrict myself to appreciating its colourful and reliable appearance.

1 comment:

  1. wow, super gorgeous mushrooms! Lovely.

    I did learn ages ago that a less dangerous emetic, should the need arise, is a teaspoon of mustard with a luke warm glass of water. I think you put the one into the other? Apparently, it's pretty gross. =)