Russula variata  Banning (1905)                                                                          *Eastern North America

This is one of the classic Russulas from Eastern North America.  The epithet variata is quite fitting as it is rather variable with a strongly mottled cap. It is not as similar to Russula cyanoxantha as many sources claim, but in my opinion it can be confused with Russula grisea, which at the same time can easily be told apart by its yellowish spore print. Russula variata has a mildly acrid taste, which is not hot. The frequently forking gills are one of the main distinguishing characteristics of this species.

Spores: 8-10 x 6-7.3 Almost entirely isolated warts.

Many members of this Russula Section have stipes that develop caverns at age.