Monday, December 7, 2009

The Russulas are here! The Russulas are here!

Okay, they've actually been here for a while but, suddenly, there seem to be several varieties and they're kind of everywhere in the woods where I walk. Russulas are a varied group, coming in all sorts of colors and flavors. Identifying Russulas requires
tasting the cap and gills which kind of grosses me out, but if it's mild tasting you have one group of Russulas and if it's peppery or acrid you have another. Some of them smell good, and some smell bad. Some of them turn black when bruised. Or gray. Or red. Or red then gray. Or red then black. Yikes! It's enough to make a mushroom hunter's head go spinning! The pretty pink Russulas in the picture on top are Russula maculata. They didn't have any noticeable smell and tasted mild. Their spores were a pretty buff orange color. I don't know what the dark red one is. It might be R. xerampelina or R. placita. Whatever it is, it's awfully pretty.

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