Russula nobilis

  (Redirected from Russula mairei)

Formerly Russula mairei (Singer), and commonly known as the beechwood sickener, the now re-classified fungus Russula nobilis (Velen.)[1] is a basidiomycete mushroom of the genus Russula. This group of mushrooms are noted for their brittle gills and bright colours.

Russula nobilis
Russ nobilis.jpg
Scientific classification
R. nobilis
Binomial name
Russula nobilis

Russula mairei Singer

Russula nobilis
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Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is free
stipe is bare
spore print is white
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: inedible


It was previously named in honour of French mycologist René Maire by Rolf Singer in 1929, but found to be the same taxon as the earlier 1920 Russula nobilis, which has naming priority.


The cap is a red or rosy colour, 3–6 cm wide, convex to flat, or slightly depressed, and weakly sticky. It peels only to a third of its radius, which reveals pink flesh.[1] The flesh is firm and white or sometimes yellowish, smells of coconut, and tastes peppery.[2] It is often damaged by slugs. The stem is 2–5 cm long, 1–1.5 cm wide, cylindrical, (firmer than its conifer dwelling namesake, Russula emetica), and white. The gills are narrowly spaced, adnexed, rounded, and white, often with a faint blue-green sheen. The spore print is white.

Distribution and habitatEdit

The species is mycorrhizal with beech (Fagus) in woodland areas.[3] It is widespread and common in Europe, Asia, and North America, where these trees grow.


Russula nobilis is inedible, and probably poisonous in quantity, but not deadly. Many bitter tasting red-capped species can cause problems if eaten raw; the symptoms are mainly gastrointestinal in nature: diarrhoea, vomiting and colicky abdominal cramps. The active agent has not been identified but thought to be caused by chemical compounds known as sesquiterpenes, which have been isolated from the related genus Lactarius and from Russula sardonia.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Roger Phillips. (2006). Mushrooms. Pan MacMillan. p. 19. ISBN 0-330-44237-6.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Thomas Laessoe. (1998). Mushrooms (flexi bound). Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0-7513-1070-0.
  4. ^ Benjamin, Denis R. (1995). Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas — a handbook for naturalists, mycologists and physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company. p. 369. ISBN 0-7167-2600-9.
  • "Danske storsvampe. Basidiesvampe" [a key to Danish basidiomycetes] J.H. Petersen and J. Vesterholt eds. Gyldendal. Viborg, Denmark, 1990. ISBN 87-01-09932-9

External linksEdit