Posted by John 9/9/13
John:This had just come above the ground in a mostly spruce forest that I think had some shore pines in it. It looked to me like the pictures of matsutake I'd seen, but it didn't have any special aroma. It was tough like they'd said in the meetings about matsutake, Then I looked in arora. I snapped the stem and it snapped like a piece of chalk. First time that ever happened to me. It fits all of Arora's characteristics for short-stemmed Russula (Russula brevipes)
Kim: Looks like a Russula Brevipes to me, too. Just a quick FYI, For matsutakes, you always want to dig up the entire stem to ensure proper identification. The stems are longer and thinner than shown in the picture. A straight taper may indicate matsutakes while a "hook" may indicate Amanita Smithiana. So, be careful. :-)
John: Thanks, Great info. Would the smithiana have a volva? I showed my kids that we won't be gathering any mushrooms with volvas until I am more advanced at ID.
Mike: Russula brevipes and Tricholoma magnivelare (matsutake) grow in the same habitat, as do some toxics. Let me tell this story. Hoping for matsutake, I picked a big R. brevipes in the woods, but it had the unmistakable matsutake odor. What to think??? I eventually realized I was smelling my own hands, which had been picking and cleaning matsutake a few minutes earlier.
The odor is distinctive and diagnostic, but only if it's coming from the mushroom itself! Be careful!
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