The Russula laeta (Russula laeta Jul. Schäff., 1952) is a basidiomycete fungus belonging to the Russulaceae family.
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Fungi Kingdom, Phylum Basidiomycota, Class Basidiomycetes, Russulales Order, Russulaceae Family and therefore to the Genus Russula and to the R. laeta Species.
The term is synonymous: Russula borealis sensu Romagnesi.
The term Russula is the diminutive of red rússa, reddish in reference to the prevailing color of this family. The specific epithet laeta comes from the Latin laetus, that is, luxuriant, happy, vivid, with a gay, cheerful appearance, referring to the brightness of its colors.
Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
This mushroom grows in dry deciduous forests, preferring oak and chestnut trees, on calcareous soils. It is a species that in some areas, like in Belgium, is seriously threatened.
The Russula laeta is recognized by the hat of 4-8 cm in diameter, hemispherical and depressed in the center, with separable 1/3 cuticle, viscous, brilliant in the presence of wet weather, with pink-flesh-red to purple-red color, plus dark in the center.
The margin is convoluted, regular, slightly grooved when ripe.
The Lamellas are quite thick, equal, anastomose, rounded or adorned with the stem, fragile, cream-whitish, then yellowish.
The stem is regular cylindrical, flared at the apex, slightly attenuated at the base, firm, spongy, white, greyish-white in old age.
The meat is thick, tenacious, white, immutable, with a faint fruity or woody fragrance mixed with geranium and sweet taste.
At the microscope, spores of 6.5-9 x 5.5-7 µm are noted, ovoid in shape, with isolated amyloid warts.
The Russula laeta is not a cultivated mushroom.
Uses and Traditions –
It is a fungus of fair edibility.
Preparation Mode –
Edible mushroom which, like other Russulas of fair or good edibility, can be prepared and cooked in various ways, either alone or in a mixture with other mushrooms.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.– Cetto B., 2008. The mushrooms from life, Saturnia, Trento.– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and food uses are indicated for informational purposes only, do not in any way represent a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is assumed for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.