Purple Russula (Russula Atropurupea) -Idenitifcation

Purple Russula/Summer/Autumn /Edible

Scientific Name

Russula Atropurpurea




Mixed woodland, particularly Oak and Beech.


Russula atropurpurea is quite a large mushroom and very common. The centre is almost black, with a purple region near the rim, which gave it its former common name of Blackish-purple Russula. This mushroom is one of the most common brittlegills in Britain and Ireland.

Identifying Features for (add name of species):


It is a dark red wine colour with purple to almost black in the middle. Starting convex,


White becoming off white/ grey with age. Should snap a bit like chalk.


Adnexed gills white/cream, neat, brittle and slightly connected to stem. Crowded when young.

Adnexed gills



Smell is sweet and fruity. Taste can be fairly mild but more often moderately hot and chilli like, in particular in the gills. This mushroom MUST be cooked.


Off white to cream 



This edible mushroom can be used in cooking but must be cooked properly.

In food

This edible mushroom can be used in cooking but must be cooked properly.


Found in mixed broad leaf woodland between August and November.

Known hazards

Must be cooked to be eaten. Other red/ purple Russulas could be confused with this  mushroom.

Potential lookalikes

other red/ purple Russula such as The Sickener ( R.emetica) and the Beechwood Sickener ( R.Nobilis)

Follow the four step Russula identification process:

-Snap – Does the stem snap like a piece of chalk?
-Flick – Do the gills break when you flick them gently?
-Peel – Does the skin on the cap peel away?
-Taste–  this should only be done when you have gone through the other steps and are confident that you have a Russula. If a tiny amount placed on the tongue a chilli like burn or tingle means the mushroom is poisonous but a pleasant mushroomy taste means it is edible.

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