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Monday, 22 February 2016

Blackening Russule

Monday Mushroom #99

The blackening russule begins as a stout, creamy white mushroom with a coffee-coloured flush to the depressed center of its cap.

Young blackening russule - Russula nigricans

This mushroom's gills are very distinctive: exceptionally thick and widely spaced. To me, they look rather like sliced almonds and have the same brittle texture.

blackening russule - Russula nigricans - gills.

As they age, they shrivel and turn black...

Mature blackening russule - Russula nigricans

Persisting as cryptic black lumps on the forest floor after the season ends. 

Blackening russule - Russula nigricans - old, detatched fruiting body. This one is still recognisably a mushroom, but will disintegrate into charcoal-like lumps over time.
 Last time, I covered Asterophora lycoperdoides - the powdery piggyback fungus, which grows out of these black lumps.

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