Purple-bloom Russula - Russula mariae
Cap was deep purple with a white bloom and striate margins. When the bloom was rubbed off, the cap was red underneath. Stipe and gills were white.
There were 2 mushrooms - one large and one small - whose caps had fused. The mushroom(s) were growing with their caps perpendicular to the ground. Spotted in a coniferous forest.
I'm not completely sure of the species ID, but am working on getting it confirmed.
This gorgeous Russula is common under oaks in eastern North America. It has a purple cap that is covered with a white dusting or "bloom," and its stem is flushed with a paler version of the cap color. The spore print is cream colored to pale yellow, and the taste is mild or slightly oily and unpleasant. As the illustrations to the right demonstrate, Russula mariae can display cap colors that range fairly far away from purple, including olive, yellow, and brown--or it can be mottled with several.. more