Your resource for fungi information
Russula emetica   (The Sickener)
Europe, North America
Cap 3-10 cm diameter, stem 4-9 cm tall * 0.7-2 cm thick
This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.

Russula emetica, also known as The Sickener, is a medium-sized agaric with a convex to slightly depressed, scarlet-red cap. It is found mainly beneath conifers (pines and spruces in particular) and occasionally also on mossy (fairly wet) heathland. The mushroom is known for its intensely hot taste.

Cap convex to slightly depressed, and often shiny scarlet or cherry red, becoming sticky at wet. The skin can be peeled off at least halfway to the centre and the flesh of Russula emetica is pink beneath the cuticle. Gills are whitish, becoming pallid straw, more or less free, brittle, and narrow. Stem white, cylindrical, sometimes yellowing slightly with age. The base is slightly clavate. It has no ring. Spore print white or very pale cream.

Microscopic Features: Spores are ellipsoidal, measuring 8-11 x 7.5-8.5µm, and have conical warts that are up to 1.2µm tall. These warts are connected by narrow lines, forming a well-developed reticulum.

Russula emetica on the web site.

Many mushrooms are poisonous and some are lethally poisonous. It can be very difficult to distinguish between an edible and a poisonous mushroom. Because of that, we recommend that you never eat wild mushrooms, and this site does not contain any information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.

Although efforts have been made to ensure accuracy on this website, the information may contain errors and omissions. Therefore, the information presented here is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as any basis for consuming any plants or mushrooms.

Links to external websites that provide information about mushrooms are included for reference purposes only. We do not endorse, or assume responsibility for the information, content, or recommendations provided on these external sites.

Cookie notice

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site and to show you relevant advertising, as well as to analyze traffic.

Learn more about cookies


Many mushrooms are poisonous and some are lethally poisonous and this website cannot and will not tell you whether the mushrooms you find are safe.

In viewing the material on this website you agree that Mushroom World and its owner have no liability for injury, illness or death caused by eating wild plants or mushrooms after viewing this site.

If you continue, you agree to view this website under these terms.