Russula in Northeastern North America

By Dianna Smith

We see more russulas than any other kind of mushroom, yet are least able to identify them to species.  Many mycologists avoid them, too, because there are hundreds of species and so many of them look like each other. There are, for example, over 125 species of red russulas! Unfortunately (if you don’t care to become a Russula "nerd"), it is necessary to use detailed diagnostic features to determine the species of most russulas – including use of the microscope and a variety of chemicals. Some russulas, however, are fairly easy to learn to identify by careful observation of macro characteristics.  This presentation was updated to present to the Boston Mycological Club at the 4/15/19 meeting at Harvard. University professors, high school teachers, home-school parents and mycology students may use this program for teaching provided you first contact the author for permission and give proper credit. Email:

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