It has been an interesting week for mushrooms, with a couple of days producing some interesting finds, but as the warm dry weather took hold the latter part to the week has been tougher.
Lauren started the week off with a lovely find of Deceiving Bolete (Suillellus queletii) on the 3rd August in Chester, a species that is quite distinctive and when cut in half it has a strong beetroot colour in the lower part of the stem.
Then on Wednesday 5th August I took a trip down to Powys where one woodland had 13 species of Brittlegill (Russula), but not a lot of anything else. It did not matter as Brittlegills are one of my favourite.
One of the other numerous species growing under Beech was Russula decipiens, not an easy species to confirm in the field, but the microscopy is quite distinctive.
Finally my personal favourite was Russula illota, not a species I had encountered before so I was pleased to find it. It is somewhere in between Bitter Almond Brittlegill (Russula grata) and the Foetid Brittlegill (Russula foetens). It has a smell of almond but also a kind of rancid smell at the same time. The spores are distinctive but also the gill edges have a brown/purple line on them, made up of dots and dashes.
There were numerous Blue Band Brittlegills (Russula chloroides), this is a species that looks very similar to some of the large white Milkcaps (Lactarius), but it does not prodcue milk. The top of the stem apex where the gills join usually has a blue band around (seen clearly on our ID Guide page for this species).
Let us hope that the rain predicted this week turns up and the season can really begin.