Mayra's russula: photo and description

Mayra's russula: photo and description

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Russula grow in almost every forest. Different species of this family of mushrooms prefer to build their symbiosis with certain trees. And they differ, at first glance, in the color of the cap. Among russula, there are species with a bright red cap. One of them is Mayra's russula, alluring with its flashy colors. But it is better for an inexperienced mushroom picker to bypass him so that there are no unpleasant consequences if the mushrooms are insufficiently processed.

Where Mayr's russula grow

Russula are the most common mushrooms in Russia. They make up 30% of all mushroom mass growing in natural conditions. The Russian name for the mushroom comes from the fact that some of them can be consumed on the second day after salting. But there are also inedible and conditionally edible species among them, which can be eaten only after heat treatment or simply not collected.

Russula Mayra (Latin Russula mairei) is a weakly poisonous mushroom. It has another name "noticeable russula" (Russula nobilis). The mushroom attracts attention with its bright red hat, which cannot be passed by without noticing it. This mushroom grows mainly in deciduous forests. Most often, Meiru can be found under the beech trees in southern European territory.

Mayr's russula appears not in large colonies, but one mushroom at a time or in a family of 3-4 pieces. It bears fruit during the entire summer-autumn period. The most active growth of mushrooms occurs in August and September.

What Mayr's russula look like

The main features of Mayr's russula are the same as those of other members of this family, but there are also special features that are characteristic only of this species.

The appearance of Mayr's russula can be described as follows:

  1. The hat is 30-90 mm in diameter, in young specimens it has a hemispherical shape. As the fungus grows, it becomes flatter and even slightly concave towards the center. The color of the cap changes with age from deep red to light pink.
  2. The pulp is dense, but crumbles easily, has a persistent fruity aroma, does not change color at the break. The skin is dry and smooth, becomes sticky in wet weather, peels off freely only along the edge.
  3. The plates on the underside of the cap are frequent, whitish, of medium width, grow to the stem, change color with age and turn from white to cream.
  4. The leg is straight, cylindrical, white with a slight brown color at the base, grows up to 6-8 cm in height and 1 cm in diameter. It has a dense structure and a smooth surface.

The cap and stem of the Mayr mushroom are very fragile and break easily. Fragility is given to them by special vesicular cells located in the fruiting body. When any part of the mushroom is broken, milky juice is not released, and the edges remain dry.

Attention! Despite the name, none of the russula species should be eaten raw. They must definitely go through some kind of culinary treatment: boiling or soaking.

Is it possible to eat Mayr's russula

Western experts consider Mayr's russula an inedible mushroom because of its pungent taste. Eaten raw, it can cause mouth irritation, minor gastrointestinal upset, and stomach pain. A boiled mushroom can only spoil the whole dish with its bitter taste. Therefore, it is not recommended to eat Meiru even after heat treatment.

Russian mushroom pickers believe that Mayr's russula can be eaten, but only in salted and pickled form after long boiling. And this significantly reduces its useful properties and taste. However, it reduces the risk of getting poisoned.

How to distinguish Mayr's russula

There are several types of red russula, similar in appearance to Meira. In order not to confuse the species, you need to know their main differences, although they are insignificant.

Russula emetica

Russula emetica, or russula, grows mainly in damp and swampy areas of deciduous and coniferous forests, in mountainous areas. Has a bright red cap with an easily detachable skin, infrequent, sometimes bifurcated plates with a yellowish-green tint. The white leg is covered with many wrinkles, turns yellow over time. The pulp acquires a pink or yellow tint with age. Considered conditionally edible.

Russula luteotacta

Russula luteotactа or russula yellowing prefers to grow under the hornbeam, has a non-networked structure of spores, plates that slightly go down the stem of the mushroom. And the flesh of the body, when damaged, changes color to a rich yellow.

Russula persicina

Russula persicina grows under beeches, like the Mayra species, but differs from it in a reddish stalk. As well as a cream-colored spore powder and plates that turn yellow over time.

Russula rosea

Russula rosea or russula pink has a leg intertwined with red veins downward, cream colored plates, reddish to the leg. The skin on the cap is often cracked and difficult to remove. It is considered conditionally edible, which can be eaten after preliminary boiling. Has a pleasant mint taste without bitterness.

Russula silvestris

Russula silvestris or wild russula is very similar in appearance to Meira. It can be determined by the reaction to a solution of guaiacum juice.

Russula rhodomelanea

Russula rhodomelanea grows primarily under an oak tree. It has more rare plates than Mayr's russula, and the pulp of the mushroom body turns black when dry.

Mayr's russula is not very common in Russia. One of the main differences between this mushroom and other species is the fact that it grows under beech trees.

Symptoms of Mayr's russula poisoning

Mayr's russula poisoning may be mild. It depends on the amount of mushrooms eaten and the general condition of the body.

Symptoms may include:

  • the appearance of bitterness and dry mouth;
  • feeling of weakness, dizziness, headache;
  • pain and heaviness in the stomach and right hypochondrium;
  • nausea and diarrhea.

You should definitely pay attention to the appearance of signs and immediately take measures to cleanse the body of poisons.

First aid for poisoning with Mayr's russules

The main actions in case of poisoning with Mayra species should be aimed at removing toxic substances using gastric lavage and enemas.

You should proceed as follows:

  1. Drink in small sips about 1 liter of warm water diluted with potassium permanganate until pink.
  2. Touch the root of the tongue with your fingers, causing vomiting.
  3. Continue drinking water and induce vomiting until the vomit is clear and free of food or bile.
  4. Take activated charcoal and lie down to regain strength.

You need to continue to drink a little water to avoid dehydration. A decoction of herbs such as chamomile, peppermint and juniper berries are suitable.


Mayra's russula attracts with its bright appearance and at the same time warns the mushroom picker that you need to be careful and careful with her. The bitterness that is in this type of russula can provoke a slight poisoning, and poorly processed mushrooms will ruin the whole dish. Therefore, you need to know which mushrooms to pick, and which ones are best to pass.

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