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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Lactarius

by Danny Miller


Piperites clade - Purple staining Lactarius


Lactarius pallescens

This common conifer species, described from Idaho, is white and KOH will turn the flesh yellow. The stem is rather viscid.

Lactarius californiensis is a southern species with an off-white cap and a yellow KOH reaction, reported from Oregon, but collections are needed to determine what it really is.

Lactarius pallescens © Michael Beug


Lactarius montanus

This common conifer species, also described from Idaho, has a more greyish cap, sometimes with orange or lilac tints. KOH turns the cap green. DNA between BC and CO can differ by up to 6bp, so it's possible this is a species complex.

Lactarius cascadensis is said to be a lilac grey alder species that is large with tan coloured gills, but it has not been found in a long time and nothing is really known about it.

Lactarius montanus © A and O Ceska


Lactarius aspideoides

This rare east coast mixed forest species has a yellow cap.

Lactarius aspideus/pallidomarginatus

The very similar (but with a dryer stem) European L. aspideus has been reported from here and the almost genetically identical L. pallidomarginatus has been described from Colorado. We don't know which of these 3 species are present in the PNW (we have no local DNA), so more collections are needed to find out.

Lactarius aspideoides © R Lebeuf


L. representaneous

This rare, European conifer species is also yellow, but it is bearded with a scrobiculate stem. DNA has been found in WA so far, and it's reported from elsewhere in the PNW.

Lactarius representaneus © Ian Gibson

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