Russula salishensis Bazzicalupo, D. Miller & Buyck.

Index Fungorum number: IF553823 Facesoffungi number: FoF 03656

Etymology: refers to the Salish Sea

Holotype: BW972 (WTU, sub nr. F-038984)

Pileus 3–8(9.5) cm diameter, plano-convex, becoming gently depressed in the centre, with the margin slightly striate; surface viscid when wet, pale to deep pinkish red, wine red, more rarely purplish red, usually darker in the centre, occasionally with yellow to brown splotches or producing forms that are much paler, yellowish or pinkish to flesh coloured, or toward the margin tinted with pale greenish grey. Lamellae adnate, equal, normally spaced (ca 1 L/mm), cream to yellow coloured (of Woo specimens, ~60% recorded as ‘cream’; ~40% as ‘yellow’). Stipe rather slender to robust, length roughly equal to cap diameter, cylindrical or broadening downward, white, often also with a faint pink flush, or sometimes with the very base spotted with rusty yellow. Odor fruity or sometimes reminiscent of Pelargonium. Context white, unchanging, insensitive or turning pale buff with FeSO4. Taste slightly hot to mild in flesh, but usually very hot in gills. Spore print pale cream (of Woo specimens, ~25% Crawshay B, ~35% Crawshay C–D, ~40% Crawshay E). Spores broadly ellipsoid, (5.7–)7.67–7.72–7.76(–10.5) × (4.8–)6.14–6.18–6.22(–9.1) µm, Q = (1.15)–1.25–1.26(–1.6), ornamentation subreticulate, composed of amyloid, conical warts up to (0.2–)0.39–0.4–0.41(–0.9) µm high, locally confluent in short crests or with thin interconnections, suprahilar spot present as a not highly amyloid patch. Basidia (36.5–)41.5–46.5–52(–59.5) × (7.5–)8.5–9.5–10.5(–12) µm, 4–spored, stout and clavate with swollen top; basidiola also stout and clavate. Lamellar trama mainly composed of sphaerocytes, intermixed with cystidioid hyphae. Hymenial cystidia broadly clavate, measuring 70–85(–90) × 9–12 µm, sometimes capitate, contents SV+ (dark purple). Pileipellis not sharply delimited from the underlying context of filamentous hyphae and sphaerocytes; suprapellis composed of loosely arranged hyphae with cylindrical terminal cells with obtuse tips. Pileocystidia so long that their length was difficult to determine, up to 7.5 µm thick; contents refringent, SV+ (dark purple). Acidoresistant incrustations absent. Clamp connections absent in all parts.

Habitat and distribution: probably associates with both Pseudotsuga menziesii and Tsuga heterophylla, and is mostly found in forests where both occur; as yet known only from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington east and west of the Cascades, British Columbia), up to 1200 m alt.

Examined material: U.S.A., Washington, Dol Duc Road, 123.866667˚W, 48.00083˚N, 400-600 m alt., 15 Oct 2006, B. Woo BW1062, F-038415 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX812958; ibidem, Gifford Pinchot Rd 24, 121.666667˚W, 46.03361˚N, 925-1200 m alt., 15 Oct 1994, B. Woo BW572, F-039045 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX813303; ibidem, Greenwater Road 7030, 121.619167˚W, 47.140278˚N, 600 m alt., 10 Sep 1995, B. Woo BW599, F-038592 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX813320; ibidem, Greenwater Road 70, End Pavement, 121.442˚W, 47.103056˚N, 1270 m alt., 09 Oct 2005, B. Woo BW1045, F-038666 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX812944; ibidem, Lake Kachess, Road 4832, 121.31361˚W, 47.3172˚N, 820 m alt., 12 Oct 1997, B. Woo BW721, F-038194 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX813404; ibidem, Sloan Creek Camp, 121.287778˚W, 48.0575˚N, 630 m alt., 23 Oct 1994, B. Woo BW575, F-039027 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX813306; ibidem, Sloan Creek Horsecamp, 121.287778˚W, 48.0575˚N, 630 m alt., 22 Oct 2002, B. Woo BW972, F-038984 (WTU, holotype), GenBank ITS2: KX813591; ibidem, Talapus Lake Trail, 121.585˚W, 47.401˚N, 805 m alt., 17 Oct 1997, B. Woo BW731, F-038220 (WTU), GenBank ITS2: KX813411.

Notes: Russula salishensis corresponds to Clade 6 in the phylogeny and to Woo sp. 39 in Bazzicalupo et al. (in press). As of March 2017 R. salishensis did not have a unique SH in UNITE probably because of the close similarity of its ITS2 sequence to R. queletii.

Russula salishensis appeared as a strongly supported clade closely related to R. queletii, a species originally described from Europe and principally associated with Picea on calcareous soils, but also reported, rarely, from other European conifers. The European R. queletii also occurs in the Pacific Northwest, consistently with Picea (P. sitchensis). A detailed description of R. queletii specimens from the Pacific Northwest can be found in Roberts (2007). Our species does not produce the intense red to pink coloured stipes so typical of R. queletii. Although both Russula queletii and R. salishensis had white-stipe forms occasionally with a yellowish-rusty spotted stipe base, R. queletii more frequently had a pink flush to its stipe compared with R. salishensis. Finally, the two species differed significantly in spore ornamentation, R. queletii having spores with isolated spines.

The colour forms of R. salishensis that had more red than purple could be easily confused with R. pseudopelargonia. In the past it is likely that this species was mistaken for and recorded as R. pelargonia.

Russula salishensis shares its host, Pseudotsuga with R. phoenicea. Russula phoenicea could be distinguished because it lacked pinkish shades on its stipe and rusty-yellow tones on the stipe base. In addition, Russula phoenicea usually had paler caps, milder gill taste, paler spore prints and gills, as well spores with taller, more strongly reticulate, interconnected but not crested ornamentation. Russula hypofragilis was another look-alike but was consistently associated with Abies in the PNW.

Identical sequences were reported only from the Pacific Northwest [Canada: Campbell River, Vancouver Island, BC (KP406552); BC (EF218807, UDB031028); Sooke Reservoir, BC (UDB031005, UDB031003); U.S.A.: Oregon (HM488501, FJ440932)]. Although R. salishensis could perhaps form partnerships with the Pseudotsuga species of eastern Eurasia, it has yet to appear among sequence records from that region.

Maximum likelihood phylogeny of nine new species of Russula. Specimen codes and morphological descriptions are available through <>. Bootstrap support 70% or more is indicated by thickened black branches. The grey shading of taxa indicates the samples of the new species described. Holotypes are designated along with their collection numbers and GB accessions. Clade numbers are assigned to new species and the total number of Woo’s collections of each new species is in parentheses. ‘CT’ next to taxon name indicates the sample was confirmed with a type specimen sequence; an asterisk ‘*’ indicates a sample from the backbone constraint tree. GenBank sequences R. aurea, R. leprosa, R. sardonia, R. rosea, and R. pseudointegra were re-named in this figure based on recent sequencing of the species by author BB.


Morphology and specimen distribution of Clade 6 Russula salishensis (Woo sp. 39). BW followed by numerals designate Ben Woo samples. a Photo by B. Woo, BW575, scanned image from WTU. b Distribution of specimens of the Woo collections in Pacific Northwest. c–h Micromorphology, all 1000x magnification. c Spores in median optical section and surface view in Melzer’s reagent (c1–c2 BW575; c3–c4 BW599; c5–c6 BW721; c7–c8 BW1045; c9–c10 BW1062; c11–c12 BW1062). d Hymenial cystidium (BW731). e–f Basidia (BW1045, BW972). g–h Cap cuticle terminal cells with refringent contents (BW1045, BW713). Scale bars 10 µm