Martincito's picture

Good book on British Russulas?

I've got an arsenal of chemicals and a decent microscope but I'm still at a loss to identify most Russulas. I've seen a key to US Russulas on-line but wondered if anyone can recommend a decent guide (especially if it includes a key) to British species.




miked's picture

Rayner, R.W. (1985). Keys to

Rayner, R.W. (1985). Keys to the British
Species of Russula, third edition. British
Mycological Society.

Martincito's picture

Thanks! Nice to find a useful

Thanks! Nice to find a useful publication that won't break the bank.

yvonnem's picture

Russula Key

Also try Synoptic Keys to the British species of the Genus Russula by Geoffrey Kibby


Martincito's picture

Nice one yvonne, I've now

Nice one yvonne, I've now ordered that one too!

AlanS's picture


Rayner's keys were very good in their time, but we now have something like 50% more species recognised in Britain, nearly 160 species according to Kibby, and many of the ones we thought we knew, we now know we don't.

Geoffrey Kibby's account, by contrast, is bang up to date and full of good colour photographs. He has had an interest in Russula for a long time and it really shows.

Russula is only going to be easy when we have portable meters that instantaneously and reliably recognise each fungus's DNA barcode (though this will take all the fun out of mycology and the software will need yearly update).

Until then, a good microscope and willingness to look at cap cuticle characters and spore ornamentation, as well as very precise spore colours, are essential.

Martincito's picture

Thanks Alan, I've got the

Thanks Alan, I've got the Kibby book and await the Russula season with anticipation. I agree that if it was easy it wouldn't be half as much fun, though it can be very frustrating at times. I still expect that half my Russulas will be identified as just that, Russula sp, by me at least...

PS That DNA meter always make me think of the portable GPS that can be used to take the fun (and skill) out of orienteering.

D.M.H.'s picture

Taste and how easily and how

Taste and how easily and how much the cap peels are additional clues to help narrow down species. I will PM you name of a FB friend who is very good with the Russula Genus.

All given ID's are subject to error/ommissions. Please seek independent verification before acting on ANY advice given. BE SAFE =)

Martincito's picture