Stem: white, we have never noticed any tints of pink on the stem either, which other similar species may have. Firm and robust  which is notable for pink/red capped species of Russula.

Flesh: white through out, sometimes with a slightly pink flush under the top of the cap. Slight smell when young of coconut, but often not distinctive, especially when older.

Overall: one of the many pink/red coloured Russula, the Beechwood Sickner is poisonous and should not be tasted. Often nibbled and slug eaten. Found with Beech (Fagus) trees where it can be rather common.

Cap: usually always slightly slug eaten or nibbled, begins rounded and becomes flatter with age. Red/pink colour which can fade in heavy rain. The cap peels at the edge revealing a pinkish flesh underneath.

OVERALL: A commonly encountered poisonous Brittlegill (Russula) species when walking through a Beech (Fagus) wood. There are many pink/red species of Brittlegill which we advise to avoid all of them for culinary purposes, unless you are very experienced in Brittlegill identification. Still retains the 'brittle gills' but has a much more robust stem than other pink/red species. 


HABITAT: grows with Beech (Fagus) trees.


DISTRIBUTION: found across the UK where it is relatively Common where Beech (Fagus) occurs.


SEASON: late summer to autumn.




EDIBILITY: Poisonous, no part of this mushroom should be eaten. This species has been known to cause vomiting, diarrhoea and severe stomach cramps. 


EASE OF IDENTIFICATION: Brittlegills (Russulas) are difficult to identify, the Beechwood Sickner has a totally white coloured stem (other pink brittlegills usually have tints of other colour but not all), pink/red cap and growing with Beech (Fagus) should all help point towards this species, but there are many similar brittlegills it can look like, we advise against picking ANY red/pink capped Brittlegills for eating because of this.


SMELL: slightly of coconut when very fresh and young, otherwise not distinctive. 


SIMILAR SPECIES: The Sickner (Russula emetica) is just as poisonous and looks very similar, but grows with Pine (Pinus) rather than Beech (Fagus). 


CURRENT SCIENTIFIC NAME: Russula nobilis Velen.


SYNOYNMS: Russula mairei Singer, Russula mairei var. fageticola Romagn. Russula fageticola Melzer ex S. Lundell.

Gills: start white but become more cream coloured with age, often with a slight greenish  / blueish cast. Rather crowded for the overall size of the mushroom. Very brittle to the touch.

Beechwood Sickener

     Russula nobilis

meaning fragrant

meaning depressed or sloping head

Tel. 07533 132 129 


Manchester, Cheshire, Deeside & North Wales

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