Back to Outney Common and a 1st for Suffolk! 27 October 2023

Readers of my last blog entry about Outney Common will have noticed I mentioned a strange russula sp that had everyone scratching their heads. Well, Jeremy kindly offered to analyse a specimen if I could get hold of another (my original one has now deteriorated and is useless). Hence this return visit...

I was dismayed to find the area has completely flooded since my last visit so signs weren't good. With a little bit of effort (and wet feet!) I managed to get around the back of the same rough area in the hope I might find some that weren't under a foot of water - and luckily I stumbled upon a small group growing under a waterside willow about 30 meters from my original spot. More on the analysis later. 

While sploshing about I also found some nice Elfin Saddles, White Fibrecap, Sulphur Knight, Variable Webcap and Golden-banded Webcap, Cortinarius saniosus. On the grass was also a recently deceased Rudd presumably 'displaced' by the recent flooding.

Back to the mystery russula - I dropped the specimen off with Jeremy the following morning and he did the necessary microscopy and chemical analysis. To summarise - mild taste (no heat), bruises light brown, blackish-green reaction to FeSO4 and blue with guiac, spores pale ochre with warts and a few connectives, smell very slowly developing to something resembling crab paste. The cell structure of the cap cuticle was also looked at. All of these factors and the fact that it was associated with willow point to it being Russula subrubens and therefore a first for Suffolk!

                                                                                                                                 Russula subrubens
                                                                                                                                    Elfin Saddle
                                                                                                                                    White Fibrecap
                                                                                                                     Golden-banded Webcap

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