Here is an attempt to identify our sticky brown Russula species using the key:
Russula News key with species description and choices per our pictures.
Russula consobrina is known as Russula sororia elsewhere.
The "Early July" collection is found towards the end of the Russulaceae page.
Knife blade is almost 10 cm / sharpened edge about 8 1/2 cm.
Russula sororia at Rogers Mushrooms
See Kou's description of R. sororia. And if you haven't already, see his discussion of Russula identification:
Then see Kou's descriptions of the two species listed as similar to sororia:
This daunting task really is a lot of work to get to uncertainty. But this is how we learn...
please send some Russula pics to firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably from last year and our locale.
And feel free to chime in on this I.D. process.
Dave's comment (see below) brings us to a primary deficiency in Kibby & Fatto's key - that it does not include aroma. These mushrooms (to the best of my memory - and I think they could all be the same species) all smelled strongly of almonds, which I like to call the cyanide smell (as it is also of apple seeds and cherry bark) and therefore belong to the Foetid Russula group. See: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/russulas_foetid.html
And this brings us to a general problem with identification keys and my mistake in using Kibby & Fatto's key. Why did I not come to the Foetid Russula group with the key? This was the question I was getting to next as R. sororia, as confusing as it is, does not seem to be our species. I jumped to the species descriptions and found that R. foetentula is described by the code C/FILN QS. Interesting that C is used ( C= yellow, ochre, orange ), since our choice of F for brown (though here it is both, or either) led us to a darker brown species - definitely logical to choose the yellow group next. The code also has L for colored stem instead of K for white...
So, going back to the pictures we can try C for yellow/ochre/orange:
CIKN SV gets us R. crassotunica with the online form, but is not in the book.
if we remove the V for staining and assume a Q for cream to pale ochre spores is okay
then we get R. pectinatoides
if we retain the V (because some of our pictures clearly show staining) we are left with two choices:
- both with mild taste (some of our pictures clearly have the bite that I spit out because of spiciness)
(boy, this is tough...) We can't change from I to J for 3/4 to complete peel because our only choices then don't stain
... nor to H because our picture show over 1/3 peel, and it leaves us with no choices anyway
In fact, our key has only 3 choices (one a grouping of 2 species) that discolor, all listed with a mild taste.
Maybe it is time to explore Kuo's key to the Foetid Russulas (link above)...
I also intend to check out Mushroom Observer.
Here is a link from Dave: R. fragrantissima