Russula crustosa

Russula crustosa

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  • Description
  • Habitat
  • Edibility
  • Similar Species
  • Preserving (Drying or Freezing)
  • Recipe Suggestions
  • References

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Russula crustosa, commonly known as the crusty russula, is a species of fungus in the family Russulaceae. It is found in Asia and North America.

The fruit bodies have caps that are initially convex before flattening out in age, often developing a central depression, and measure 5–12.5 cm (2.0–4.9 in) in diameter. In maturity, the dry cap surface breaks up into greenish patches around the margin. The margin of the cap has radial grooves that match the gills on the underside. The closely spaced gills are white, cream, or pale yellow in color, and have an adnate attachment to the stem. Measuring 3–9 cm (1.2–3.5 in) long by 1.2–2.5 cm (0.5–1.0 in) thick, the stem is white to pale yellow, and becomes hollow in age. The flesh is hard and compact (when young), and whitish. The spore print is pale buff, and the spores are elliptic in shape, and somewhat warted with a few fine interconnecting lines. They are hyaline (translucent), amyloid, and measure 6–9 by 5.5–7 µm.

An edible mushroom, R. crustosa has no distinguishing odor, and a taste ranging from mild to slightly acrid. Other greenish Russulas, including R. subgraminicolorR. aeruginea, and R. variata, can be most readily distinguishing by their non-cracking cap surfaces.


Russula crustosa is a mycorrhizal fungus and associated with broadleaf trees, particularly oak and hickory. The fruit bodies grow on the ground in mixed forests singly, scattered, or in groups. Fruiting occurs between June and December. The pleasing fungus beetle species Tritoma angulata is known to feed on the fruit bodies.

In North America, the mushroom is common, and widespread in the southeastern United States.



 Similar Species: 

Russula crustosa is commonly mistaken for Russula virescens, a more desirable edible mushroom that features greenish patches on its cap surface. The latter species has flesh that breaks apart more readily, and a white spore print.

Preserving (Drying or Freezing):

Best dried.

Recipe Suggestions:

Recipes for  russula, or where they can be easily substituted.