• smells of crab when mature
  • flesh slowly turns rusty when cut
  • flesh and gills are brittle
  • spore deposit is yellow
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Look-alikes in California

Many other species of Russula are similar in appearance but are inedible or not-recommend for eating. They differ in various way, but all lack the distinctive crab-like odor. For example, the poisonous-when-raw Russula silvicola differs in that it has a hot, peppery taste, a white spore deposit, and lacks the shellfish odor. TIP: Species of Russula can be differentiated from most non-Russula look-alikes by confirming that the stem is brittle and snaps cleanly in two, like a piece of chalk, rather than bending or fraying lengthwise.

Related: Edible Plants of PNW - Edible Berries of PNW - Edible Seashore of PNW
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