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Russula emetica group
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Russula emetica group

Common Name: The Sickener

Synonyms:

Substrate: Ground

Location: Hardwood Forests

Spore Color: White

Gill Color: Pure White

Comments: 

Russula emetica is also called "The Sickener." This is because if you eat it, you are likely to get a bit of vomiting. A simple taste of the flesh should yeild a hot or peppery taste. Enough to make you want to spit it out after a bit has been in your mouth for a few seconds. The other key identifiers are a bright red cap, a stem that is completely white, and gills that are completely white. 

This is called a "group" because there are likely many cryptic species that have these same morphological characters. For a field ID, just call any red-capped Russula with white gills and a white stem the R. emetica group.

Lookalikes: 

Some similar Russula species have gills (and spores) that are yellowish with age. R. rosacea group has a red cap, white gills, but a stem that has redish tones. 

Pictures:

Russula emetica group

9/28/11 - Paynetown SRA - Bloomington, IN

Russula emetica group

11/2/11 - Griffy Woods - Bloomington, IN

Russula emetica group

6/5/12 - Griffy Woods - Bloomington, IN