Cap 4-10 cm broad, convex to plano-convex, becoming plane with a depressed disc; margin in age slightly striate and sometimes upturned; surface smooth, viscid, bright red to dark red, fading to pink or lavender-pink, sometimes with white or yellow blotches; flesh white, unchanging when exposed, brittle; odor mild, taste acrid.
Gills adnate to adnexed, white to creamy to pale yellow, close to subdistant.
Stipe 5-10 cm long, 1-2.5 cm thick, equal or tapering toward the apex; surface smooth, dry, pink to rose; stuffed to hollow in age; flesh white, brittle.
Spores 7.8-9.5 x 6.5-8.5 µm, subovoid to subellipsoid with amyloid ornamentation of isolated spines and warts. Spore print pale yellow to yellow.
Scattered to gregarious under pine, fall to early spring.
Unknown, avoided because of its acrid taste.
One of our prettiest mushrooms, Russula sanguinea has previously been misidentified as Russula rosacea. Whatever you call it, the rosy Russula is easy to identify by it red cap, rosy pink stipe, brittle flesh, and acrid taste. Russula silvicola is similar, but has a white stipe and a white spore print.