Russula atropurpurea is an edible member of the Russula genus, that have the common name of brittlegills. It is dark vinaceous (wine-coloured) or purple, and grows with deciduous, or occasionally coniferous trees. It is commonly called the Blackish-purple Russula.


The cap is 4–10 cm (0.8–4 in) in diameter. It is dark reddish purple, with a dark; sometimes almost black centre. At first it is convex, but later flattens, and often has a shallow depression. It can also be lighter in colour, or mottled yellowish. The stem is firm, white, and turns grey with age. The closely set and fairly broad gills are adnexed to almost free, and pale cream, giving a spore print of the same colour. The flesh is white; with a fruity smell, similar to apples. It tastes moderately hot.

Distribution and habitatEdit

Russula atropurpurea appears in late summer and autumn. It is common in the northern temperate zones, Europe, Asia, and Eastern North America, and is mycorrhizal with oak (Quercus), with which it prefers to live. Favouring acid soil, it is occasionally found with beech (Fagus), or pine (Pinus).


This mushroom is said to be the mildest of the hot tasting Russula species. It is edible if cooked, although not recommended.

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