Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Don's Blog Greenland XIII There was a fungus amongus

Slow down - this could be interesting.
We were hiking on the western Greenland tundra and this little beauty showed up. This little mushroom is probably a Russula emetica. It is commonly called the sickener and is a basidiomycete mushroom.There are literally hundreds of Russula species. This one has a convex red cap (pileus) and a pure white stem (stipe). Distinct identification is difficult and may even require a expert with a microscope. In Kirby and Fatto's Online Key to Russula Species in North America there are 83 species that have red caps and white stems.



Some have suggested that Russula emetica can be specifically identified in the field by taking a small taste which should, in an R. emetica, result in a peppery bitter taste with associated nausea and vomiting. I make no such recommendation and prefer to observe this little red top mushroom and enjoy it in its natural surroundings. I never eat non commercial mushrooms. 


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