Ochre Brittlegill, Russula ochroleuca


The Ochre Brittlegill, also called the Common Yellow Russula, is one of over two-hundred species of russula in the UK. It is a very common and widespread edible mushroom, found in mixed woodland. The cap is dull yellow and between 5-12 cm wide, initially convex, and later flat, or slightly depressed. The gills are white to greyish-white, and as the common name suggests, very brittle, often crumbling when a finger is run along them. The white, cylindrical stem is 3–7 cm long, and 1–2 cm wide, sometimes becoming greyish with age. Like the gills, the stem is brittle, and should snap like a piece of chalk. This mushroom is edible and not unpleasant, with a slightly peppery flavour, but isn't considered to be a choice edible mushroom, and is probably best used as a filler or stock for mixed mushroom dishes or soups.

With over 200 recognised species, the Russula genus of mushrooms is vast and very widespread in the UK, with many edible species. They are a great beginner's mushroom, as there are no deadly poisonous members, but due to the sheer variety on offer, it can sometimes be dificult to differentiate the toxic ones from the edible ones. For a quick mini-guide to identifying the Russulas, please click here.

Ochre Bittlegill Checklist


🌳 Deciduous Woodland
🌲 Coniferous Woodland

Fruiting Season

🌞🍂❄️ Between June and November.

Growth Habit

📈 Grow singly or in small groups.


🍄 Round, medium-sized (8-10cm in diameter), and dull yellow / ochre.


⚛️ White, crowded and brittle. When brushed with a finger, the gills flake away from the cap like thinly sliced almonds.


♊️ Stout, white, fairly straight, around 5-10 cm in height, and 2cm in diameter. Firm, with a grainy texture, the stems will snap like a piece of chalk.


⚪️ The flesh is thick, white, firm and brittle.

Aroma / Taste

👃 Smells mildly mushroomy.
👅 Mild mushroom taste, sometimes a little peppery.

ID Notes

🟨 ID Difficulty - Novice
👀 Very Round Cap in dull yellow / ochre is a key identifying feature.
👀 White, stout, grainy stem with no skirt, ring or egg at the base.
🤚 Firm stem that snaps like a piece of chalk is a key idenifying feature.
🤚 Brittle gills that flake away like sliced almonds when brushed with a finger is a key idenifying feature.

⛔️ Some Russulas can make you feel unwell if eaten.

👅 Once you are certain that you have a Russula, you can use the Russula nibble test to confirm edibility. Take a tiny piece of the russula's cap in your mouth and hold it against the tip of your tongue. If it is spicy, like chilli, it is not edible. If it is pleasantly mushroomy or mildy peppery, it is edible.


🍄 Fungi - Used in mushroom recipes.