A Charcoal Burner in the woods

There’s a purple mushroom on the forest floor. No, not purple, lilac. No, not lilac, it’s blue; and it’s pink in the centre.

Russula cyanoxantha - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ve seen others with a rainbow of colours including green and yellow tones as well as much deeper purple. They are Charcoal Burners, Russula cyanoxantha. I suspect the name is because the colours look like the flame on burning charcoal.

Here they are in the Handbook of British Fungi by Mordecai Cubitt Cooke published in 1881.

Russula cyanoxantha - The Hall of Einar

Charcoal Burners are common and edible.

Russula cyanoxantha - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ve never eaten one.

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