Russula cyanoxantha


The most salient characteristic is the weak gills, which feel greasy to the touch, are flexible and do not break. The cap is 4 to 15 cm wide; convex at first and later flattened. They may be greenish, purplish or brown (they vary considerably in colour).

Identification difficulty

Russula cyanoxantha grows in slightly acidic, but nutrient-rich soil. Like all Russulas, it is a mycorrhizal fungus. It has a very wide host range of broadleaved trees and conifers.

When to see it

Appearing from May to November, with the highest concentration from July to September.

Life History

The name Charcoal Burner derives from the colours in the cap, which can be mixes of grey, violet, purple, with hints of red, brown and occasionally green.  These colours were thought to be similar to those seen in the dying embers of coal fires and in charcoal burning.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Occasional in the Charnwood area.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map