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Russula dissimulans

Common Name: Red-and-black Russula

Synonyms: Russula nigricans

Substrate: Ground

Location: Hardwood Forests

Spore Color: Yellowish

Gill Color: Whiteish

Comments: 

One might wonder how this Russula gets its common name until you get the mushroom home and trying to ID what it is. It starts off a whitish color, but does not stay that way for very long. On the way home, most of the mushroom will likely turn a blackish color.

The best part about ID'ing this mushroom is that when you cut the gills or flesh, it first stains a fairly bright red color that will eventually resolve to black. 

This Russula can also be a common host for parasitic mushrooms including Collybia tuberosa, Collybia cookei, Asterophora lycoperdiodes, and Asterophora parasitica.

Lookalikes:  

Russula densifolia is similar, but has close to crowded gills. Other similar Russulas will turn black directly upon bruising. No red step. One example would be Russula albonigra.

Pictures:

Russula dissimulans

Russula dissimulans

The mushroom starts out entirely white.

Russula dissimulans

You can see how much the fruitbody bruised black on the way home. Slicing the context will produce this vibrant red bruising.

Russula dissimulans

With some time, the red color will eventually resolve to black.

Russula dissimulans

The gills will also stain a red color when damaged.

8/22/12 - Summit Lake State Park - New Castle, IN