Conservation Status: Not of concern
One of the larger russulas. It has a viscid yellowish brown cap with a grooved margin, whitish to brown-stained stipe, and strong, but generally pleasant, odor of almond extract or maraschino cherries. The spores are cream to pale yellow and the taste is very acrid.
Microscopically, the spores have much more prominent warts (1.5--2.5 µm high) than the many similar species. These include R. foetens (Persoon: Fries) Fries, very similar except for the strongly fetid odor, R. subfoetens W. G. Smith with fetid odor and flesh that yellows when cut, R. fragrantissima Romagnesi with odor similar to R. laurocerasi or anise-like but persisting after the fruitbodies have been dried, and edge of the cap smooth or short-striate, and R. illota Romagnesi, gill edge and stipe with blackish brown dots and odor like R. laurocerasi, but with a very noticeable fetid component. Various of these have been synonymized or made varieties of one another, and the question of which of them occur in the PNW remains largely open.