Green russula (Russula aeruginea) photo and description

Green russula (Russula aeruginea)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Incertae sedis (undefined)
  • Order: Russulales
  • Family: Russulaceae (Russula)
  • Genus: Russula (Russula)
  • Species: Russula aeruginea (Green russula)

Synonyms :

  • Grass-green Russula
  • Green russula
  • Russula copper-rust
  • Copper-green russula
  • Russula blue-green

Russula aeruginea - Green russula

Among russula with hats in green and greenish tones, it is quite easy to get lost. The green russula can be identified by a number of signs, among which it makes sense to list the most important and most noticeable for a novice mushroom picker.


  • Fairly uniform cap color in shades of green
  • Creamy or yellowish spore powder print
  • Soft taste
  • Slow pink reaction to iron salts on the surface of the stem
  • The rest of the differences are only at the microscopic level.


Hat : 5-9 centimeters in diameter, possibly up to 10-11 cm (and this is probably not the limit). In youth it is convex, becoming widely convex to flat with a shallow depression in the center. Dry or slightly damp, slightly sticky. Smooth or slightly velvety in the center. In adult specimens, the edges of the cap may be slightly "ribbed". Color from grayish green to yellowish green, olive green, slightly darker in the center. "Warm" colors (with the presence of red, for example, brown, brown) are absent. The peel is fairly easy to peel about half the radius.

Russula aeruginea - Green russula

Plates : adherent or even slightly descending. Located close to each other, often branching near the stem. The color of the plates is from almost white, light, creamy, cream to pale yellow; with age, they become covered with brownish spots.

Leg : 4-6 cm long, 1-2 cm thick. Central, cylindrical, slightly tapering towards the base. Whitish, dry, smooth. With age, rusty spots may appear closer to the base of the leg. Dense in young mushrooms, then cotton in the central part, in very adults - with a central cavity.

The pulp is white, in young mushrooms it is quite dense, fragile with age, wadded. The cap is rather thin at the edges. Does not change color at cut and break.

Smell : no particular smell, weak mushroom.

Taste : soft, sometimes sweetish. Young records are, according to some sources, “sharp”.

Spore powder imprint : cream to pale yellow.

Spores : 6-10 x 5-7 microns, elliptical, warty, with an incomplete mesh.

Chemical reactions : KOH on the surface of the cap is orange. Iron salts on the surface of the stem and pulp are slowly pink.


Green russula forms mycorrhiza with deciduous and coniferous species. Among the priorities are spruce, pine and birch.

Season and distribution

Grows in summer and autumn, singly or in small clusters, not infrequently.

Widely distributed in many countries.


An edible mushroom with a controversial flavor. Old paper guides classify the green russula as category 3 and even category 4 mushrooms.

It turns out great in salting, suitable for dry salting (only young specimens should be taken).

Sometimes it is recommended to pre-cook for up to 15 minutes (it is not clear why).


Many sources indicate that the green russula is not recommended for harvesting, as it can supposedly be confused with the pale toadstool. In my humble opinion, you really need to absolutely not understand mushrooms in order to mistake the mushroom for a russula. But, just in case, I am writing: when collecting green russula, be careful! If the mushrooms have a sac at the base of the leg or a "skirt" - this is not a russula.

Similar species

In addition to the aforementioned Pale toadstool, any kind of russula can be taken for a green russula, which have green colors in the color of the cap.


In old reference books one can find the Russian name "Big green russula" for Russula aeruginea, indicating "prefers birch forests" and with a separate clarification that the skin from the cap is completely peeled.

While preparing this material, the author had to read a lot of different descriptions (in different languages), and the conclusion, alas, disappointing, can only be drawn one: we still do not really know anything about russula in general and about Russula aeruginea in particular.

The sometimes separately described species Russula graminicolor Secr. ex Quel., apparently, is indistinguishable from Russula aeruginea, the difference is only in the sources, the name Russula graminicolor is taken from French authors.

Photo: Vitaly Gumenyuk.