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Russula vinacea

Common Name: Blackish-red Russula

Synonyms: Russula krombholzii, Russula atropurpurea, Species Fungorum

Substrate: Ground

Location: Hardwood Forests

Spore Color: White

Gill Color: White

Comments: 

Purple cap, white gills, white stem. Cap cuticle easily peels about 1/4 of way back. This is usually one of the first Russulas to appear in the spring,a nd can last though the fall. Look for the dark purplish-red cap, that is often darker over the center, and white spores but often yellowish gills. It should not smell fishy.

First Russula I found in 2012, and it was in mid April.

Lookalikes:  

Russula mariae has a white bloom over the purple cap.  Russula variata and Russula cyanoxantha usually have greenish tones mixed in, with the latter having forking gills and an acrid taste. Russula puellaris is purple but turns yellow as it ages, with a yellow spore print. Russula purpurata and R. xeramphalina have a fishy smell. Russula sanguinea has more reddish tones to the cap. 

Pictures:

Russula vinacea

5/24/13 - Yellowwood State Park - Brown County, IN

Spring Russula Sp. 2

Spring Russula Sp. 2

4/17/12 - Griffy Reservoir - Bloomington, IN

Russula vinacea

Russula vinacea

9/15/12 - McCormicks Creek SP - Spencer, IN