This imaginatively named mushroom belongs to a great family for novice foragers to learn about. They are very common and it is easy to distinguish between the poisonous and edibles within the genus Russula.
|Purple Brittlegill (EN), Blackish Purple Russula, Tegyll Brau Porffor (CY), Gołąbek Ciemnopurpurowy (PL), Feketésvörös Galambgomba (HU)
|Average Mushroom height (CM)
|Average Cap width (CM)
It is a dark red wine colour with purple to almost black in the middle. Starting convex, flattening with a depression in the middle.
Other red or purple Russulas (see the Beechwood Sickener). A good test for Russulas is the taste test, if a tiny amount is placed on the tongue and chewed a burn like chilli means the mushroom is poisonous, a pleasant mushroomy taste means it is edible. This test should only be attempted when you are certain you have a mushroom from the genus Russula.
This mushroom can be peppery on the tongue but is edible when cooked so care should be taken when identifying this mushroom for consumption.
Off white. Subglobose to globose.
Taste / Smell
Smell is sweet and fruity. Taste can be fairly mild but more often moderately hot and chilli like, in particular in the gills. The taste test should only be done when you’re certain that you have a Russula and the chewed bits should be spat out. This mushroom must be cooked before consumption.
The genus Russula split from other mushrooms, evolutionarily, many years ago and have round cells instead of elongated cells like most living organisms, this gives Russulas the common name Brittlegills as the cells make the mushroom brittle.