Brittle russula: description and photo

Brittle russula: description and photo

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The russula family unites a large number of species, different in appearance and nutritional value. This includes edible mushrooms, poisonous and conditionally edible. Brittle russula is a fairly common mushroom, officially it is classified as conditionally edible, but if the processing technology is violated, the fruit body can cause intoxication.

Where russula brittle grow

Brittle russula are widespread throughout Europe. In Russia, the main aggregation of the species is in the European part, in the Urals, Karelia, in Siberia, mainly in Altai. Often russula brittle can be found in the central part and the Moscow region. The fungus prefers acidic soils, grows in mixed forests, coniferous and deciduous, in a humid and dry environment. On the edges, in the shade of undersized bushes, under birches and conifers.

Grows singly or in small groups, does not form families. The mushroom season of the russula brittle coincides with the harvest time of the bulk of the more culinary valuable species. It falls at the end of August and lasts until October.

Attention! Brittle russula is not in demand among mushroom pickers, the opinion about its edibility is ambiguous.

What russula brittle look like

The russula fragile during the growth period changes the color of the cap several times: in a young mushroom it is bright purple, then green fragments appear, by full maturity the color becomes much lighter, becomes pale pink with a dark spot in the center.

The presence of a dark pigment distinguishes it from another representative - a pink russula, a poisonous mushroom with a uniform color of the cap, the color does not change during the entire ripening period. The fragile one acquires a similarity only in its mature form. The photo below shows how the color of the cap changes as it grows.

External characteristics of russula brittle:

  1. A young mushroom has a rounded, sloping cap, with edges concave inward, 6 cm in diameter.
  2. Over time, the surface becomes flat, with a shallow funnel and a dark spot in the center.
  3. The peel is even if the mushroom grows in a moist environment. Slippery, closer to oily, velvety in an open dry area.
  4. Translucent plates give the impression that the edges of the cap are serrated.
  5. Fruit stem - up to 8 cm, cylindrical, medium thickness. The surface is white, with small longitudinal stripes, elastic, solid.
  6. Spore-bearing plates are rare, white or light beige, with a clear border near the stem.

The pulp contains a small amount of water, it is brittle, this feature complicates transportation. Color - white or beige, taste - bitter, specific smell, reminiscent of flowers.

Is it possible to eat russula brittle

Rusula fragile belongs to the 4th lowest group of mushrooms, occupies a niche between conditionally edible and toxic. Many consider it poisonous and not without reason. Brittle russula may well cause poisoning if the processing technology is not followed.

There is a strong bitterness in the taste. You can get rid of it by pre-processing: repeated soaking and boiling. The chemical composition of the raw fruit body in terms of a set of substances useful for humans is not inferior to edible representatives, it includes:

  • vitamins;
  • proteins;
  • amino acids;
  • carbohydrates;
  • micro and macro elements.

But in the process of processing all the useful properties of the russula brittle loses, and the toxins partially remain, only salt breaks down the substances. Therefore, after processing the russula can be salted. The end result is a product with a low nutritional value.

In the case of a brittle russula, the time and effort expended is not worth the end result. Soaked mushrooms, even if you managed to get rid of the bitterness, should not be fried or cooked from mushroom soup.

Important! Heat treatment does not guarantee that consumption will not cause poisoning.

How to distinguish russula brittle

The russula has no false double, but there are two types of fungus that are similar in appearance, but with different biological characteristics and attitude to the gastronomic classification. The russula sardonyx is presented below in the photo.

A poisonous mushroom with the following external characteristics:

  • purple or reddish brown hat;
  • the plates are densely located, fit snugly or descend on the leg;
  • the color of spore-bearing plates in young specimens is lemon, in a mature fungus it is bright yellow;
  • the shape of the leg is cylindrical, the surface is smooth, the structure is spongy. Color with a purple or lilac tint.

The pulp is yellow, with a pungent fruity odor and a pungent taste.

The Turkish russula looks very similar to the brittle one. But this is a representative of conditionally edible mushrooms with a fairly good taste.

It is not popular because of the specific smell of iodoform, which cannot be eliminated during processing. The fungus does not cause poisoning, but it also does not have nutritional value. Used in folk recipes as an antiseptic. Differs from brittle russula:

  • by the color of the leg - it is pink in the mushroom;
  • the fact that the hat, as it grows, is always the same dark purple color;
  • the fact that the plates are light beige are never white;
  • the fact that there is no dark pigmentation in the center of the cap.

The main differences are pungent odor and sweet taste.

Symptoms of russula brittle poisoning

In terms of toxicity, mushrooms are divided into 3 categories. The first includes representatives with mild symptoms of intoxication, local lesions of the gastrointestinal tract and minor harm to health. The next division is ascending. The last small group can be fatal. Brittle russula belongs to the first category of toxicity. In case of poisoning with this type of toxins affect the mucous membrane of the digestive tract and cause symptoms of gastroenteritis:

  • paroxysmal cramps or persistent abdominal pain;
  • nausea;
  • frequent vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • headache.

The action of toxins is noted 2-3 hours after consumption, they only pathologically affect the stomach and intestines, do not affect other organs. The danger in this case is dehydration. If measures are not taken to eliminate the poisoning, symptoms can last more than a day.

First aid for poisoning with brittle russula

At the first sign of intoxication, an ambulance must be called. To alleviate the condition, stop vomiting and remove toxins that have not yet entered the bloodstream, it is recommended to provide first aid:

  1. Make a solution of potassium permanganate, the water should be warm, light pink. Give the patient a drink in small portions of about 300 g, after each dose it is necessary to mechanically induce vomiting by pressing on the root of the tongue with your fingers. The volume of water is 1.5 liters.
  2. They give sorbents that block toxins: activated or white coal, Polysorb, Enterosgel.
  3. If there is no diarrhea, it is induced by artificial laxatives. In the absence of medicines, an enema is given with boiled water with manganese.

Symptoms of russula brittle poisoning are often accompanied by a decrease in blood pressure and body temperature. It is necessary to put a heating pad on the stomach and to the legs, wrap the patient with a blanket. Drink strong hot tea or chamomile broth.


Conditionally edible mushroom russula fragile unpopular among mushroom pickers. It is rarely taken because of its bitter taste and specific floral smell. The fruit body, after soaking and heat treatment, completely loses its useful chemical composition, therefore, the mushroom does not represent nutritional value. It can only be used for salting, fried or boiled russula brittle can cause poisoning.

Watch the video: Russula fragilis