Page author: Wynn Tranfield
Russula xerampelina
crab brittlegill, shrimp mushroom, shrimp Russula

Distribution: Broad

Habitat: Variety of forest types

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Edibility: Edible


Produces generally large stout fruitbodies with a fishy or crabby odor, whitish stipes that stain brown when handled, pale yellow spores and gills, and mild taste. The typical form has a bright red, maroon or deep purple cap and various degrees of pink tinge on the stipe.



Identification Notes:

Either R. xerampelina exhibits an extraordinary range of cap colors, or there are a large number of very similar species that differ primarily in cap color; thus, many varieties of R. xerampelina and separate species have been described. Among the better known of these are R. elaeodes (Bresadola) Bon (or R. x. var. elaeodes Bresadola), with green to olive to dark brown or blackish cap colors, singly or in mixtures and R. graveolens Romell, with brownish purple to vinaceous or vinaceous-brown colors.

Accepted Name:
Russula xerampelina (Secr.) Fr.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Russula xerampelina in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

CalPhotos: Russula xerampelina photos

5 photographs:
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