Sunday, May 30, 2010

A nice red lawn mushroom

This is another mushroom found on my last (and productive) walk around the block. I had seen it before, always growing on grass as solitary specimens. This time I collected two or three that were growing a couple feet from each other, to examine them closely. This mushroom has a nice purple colored cap that contrasts nicely with its white and uplifted gills.

Date: 05/30/2010
Location: Rockville, MD


Solitary, growing on grass

Pileus height - 9 mm
Pileus diameter - 36 mm
Stipe length - 30 mm
Stipe diameter at apex - 10.5 mm
Stipe diameter at middle - 10.5 mm
Stipe diameter at base - 13.5 mm

Pileus - dry, somewhat cracked and with some dirt on top, red/purple color, flat/narrowly depressed, margin is uplturned, crisped. Semi-round. Smell is non-distinctive. Taste is somewhat peppery.
Hymenium- gilled, white, sub-distant, adnexed, moderately broad, smooth

Stipe - central, hollow with spongy like content, slightly large at base, white, soft, inserted

Spore print - didn't manage to obtain one

To me this specimens look like one of the many red Russulaceae. It has many of the features of the poisonous Russula emetica (the sickener) but it could also be the edible R. pulchra Burlingham (see: Roody W.C., Pg 230). Alternatively it could be either the poisonous R. mairei (beechwood sickener), R. atropurpurea or R. luteotacta. By now, the attentive reader may have figured out that identifying Russulacea is not easy and that therefore eating them is not advisable, specially the red ones. For now I'll call these specimens above just Russula sp.

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