The Little Red Mushroom Russula emetica

posted in: Plants | 6

red mushroom Russula emetica

These little red mushrooms, Russula emetica, are now sprouting from the forest floor in Muskoka. This is a non-edible type known as the “vomiting mushroom” for its nauseating effects on people making the mistake of eating it. While inedible it is a colorful type and nice to see in the forests. Scattered on the ground the little red tops look like Christmas decorations fallen from the trees.

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6 Responses

  1. Min

    Such an unexpected and colorful sight to see in the forest – the red cap and white stalk are such a contrast – red being the danger color is a good warning – you have such great photos and I like the interesting notes you write here too.

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    • Otter Boyd

      Thank you, the colors on some of the mushrooms are very deceptive. Maybe they grow with bright colors as warnings but sometimes those colors make them look like delicious treats too!

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  2. fiz

    Beautiful picture. Funny how that can be, for something that causes such a harsh reaction.

    Could this be nature’s Syrup of Ipecac?

    Not that I have any interest in trying it, I wonder if someone discovered they ate something toxic. Do you think if they had a store of these they could eat a couple and get everything out, or would it be best to just use…ugh….a finger down the throat?!

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    • Otter Boyd

      It seems unlikely that anyone knowing the effects of this mushroom would eat it intentionally. But, I suppose it is possible that in some time and place there may have been a culture using it in their folk medicine.

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  3. Cheekiweeki

    I love to see these red mushrooms but I don’t know about ‘eating’ them! One thing I can tell you from experience is that fairies love to play around Russula Emetica. A few years ago in the woods near my home in France, carrying my camera, as always, with great patience and stealth I even managed to photograph two fairies chatting, one was sitting on the edge of the red roof and swinging his legs, the other fairy was standing on the ground underneath. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but they were so deep in conversation, they didn’t notice me. Every time I see these gorgeous red mushrooms I always look around in the hopes of seeing more fairies. Otter, I have sent you a copy of the photos I took – maybe, one day you will see fairies too! How amazing would that be! Nobody believes me when I say I have seen fairies, but I reply, if you don’t believe in them, you certainly will never see them.

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    • Otter Boyd

      Thank you for the great pictures and the info about fairies! The mushrooms in your photos are not Russula emetica but are the Fly Agaric mushroom Amanita Muscaria. Yours are definitely the type associated with fairies! Many amanitas are extremely deadly and the muscaria type is known for its hallucinogenic properties. I haven’t yet found A. muscaria around here but do find the deadly white and yellow types. It would be great to see the muscaria you find as they are so colorful and iconic in fairy tales and story books, particularly from northern Europe. Thanks for sharing that info and the pictures!

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