Russula pulchra has a somewhat velvety, dry, red to pinkish-red cap that may develop a central depression, paler colors and cracks with age. It white gills become cream-colored from released mature spores. Stem typically bears pinkish hues. Taste is mild. It tends to grow with hardwoods, favoring beech and oak. It is similar to Russula flavisiccans, which is bitter tasting.