(see also previous posts)
Russula mushrooms (see photo page) have held my interest for some time, largely because there are so many species. I have already posted about Russula mushrooms and this DHMS project to collect pictures and identify local species, please see these earlier posts for more background. In short, these mushrooms are hard to identify and I am calling on DHMS members to help document those that are in our area.
Here are some pictures from July 2nd 2015: Take note of the Indian Pipe, which is a flower that depends on Russula mycelium to transport its sugar from other plants, such as Blueberries. I don't recall for sure, but assume because of the order of the pictures that I found these Indian Pipes by the Red Russulas pictures.
We also have here two attempts to peel the cap cuticle. The pinch marks in the cap edge indicate that this cuticle was not easily started to peel, and that there were two attempts. It peeled close to 1/3 of the distance to the center (of the radius). Our key gives the choices of up to 1/3, 1/3 to 3/4, or 3/4 to completely. (Keys are not always easy / clear.) So, we can go with "H" for "Adnate cuticle, peels at margin of cap or up to 1/3 of radius" since 1/3 seems to be the max.
Although my picture does not record the stem as well as it could have, I think it is safe to assume that we have a white stem "K". Since white stems are common in Russula species, I probably would have taken note if there was even a slight blush. There is some yellowish coloring near the bite mark in the stem- slug slime or actual discoloring? Well, doesn't seem to warrant the extra code letter "V" for discoloration. And we really don't have any indication of spore color, other than the very white appearance of the gills.
So, while other features are recorded in these pictures, we are only left with the cap size, which seems to be choice "N" for 4 to 10 cm. Therefore:
> AHKN QT (cream to pale ochre spores) brings us to Group 2
AHKN QTV (if discolors) brings us to Group 3 (see above - discoloring seems unlikely)
AHKN RTV (yellow to deep ochre-orange and discolors) brings us to R. faginea
So with Group 2 being the most likely choice:
R. floridana is ruled out with a chemical test (iron sulfate on stem). Then >
- Cap rose-pink with cream tones, cuticle glabrous, satin shiny, spores... R. cremeirosea
- Cap shades of brilliant red, cuticle subvelutinous, matt, spores... R. pseudolepida
The latter description almost fits:
from Roger's Mushrooms
... more uncertainty... (But, at least we are learning!)