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Russula emetica, commonly known as the sickener, emetic Russula, or vomiting Russula, is a basidiomycete mushroom, and the type species of the genus Russula. It has a red, convex to flat cap up to 8.5 cm (3.3 in) in diameter, with a cuticle that can be peeled off almost to the centre. The gills are white to pale cream, and closely spaced. A smooth white stem measures up to 10.5 cm (4.1 in) long and 2.4 cm (0.9 in) thick. First described in 1774, the mushroom has a wide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, where it grows on the ground in damp woodlands in a mycorrhizal association with conifers, especially pine. The mushroom's common names refer to the gastrointestinal distress they cause when consumed raw. The flesh is extremely peppery, but this offensive taste, along with its toxicity, can be removed by parboiling or pickling. Although it used to be widely eaten in Russia and eastern European countries, it is generally not recommended for consumption. There are many similar Russula species that have a red cap with white stem and gills, some of which can be reliably distinguished from R. emetica only by microscopic characteristics. (Full article...)

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