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Lactarius deterrimus

[ Basidiomycota > Russulales > Russulaceae > Lactarius . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This messy European species is close to Lactarius deliciosus, but differs in several important ways: it grows under spruces (rather than pines), its stem lacks pot-holes, and its cap is usually less zoned and more prone to green staining. Lactarius fennoscandicus is another similar European species, also associated with spruces; its cap is usually more zonate and more brown, and its spores are slightly smaller. Lactarius deterrimus can be found throughout Europe, wherever spruces occur.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with spruces; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in Europe where spruces occur. The illustrated and described collection is from Italy.

Cap: 6-10 cm; convex at first, becoming more or less flat, or shallowly depressed; sticky; bald; bright orange when young, fading to dull orange and developing green stains; not zoned, or very faintly zoned near the margin; the margin not lined.

Gills: Broadly attached to the stem or beginning to run down it; close; short-gills frequent; orange; developing green stains.

Stem: 3-5 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick; slightly tapered to the base; without potholes; bald; orange overall, with a thin white zone at the apex; developing green stains.

Flesh: Dirty orange; staining slowly reddish orange.

Milk: Carrot orange, becoming reddish after 10 minutes or more; scant.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Undocumented by me; reported as "pale pinkish buff" by Heilmann-Clausen et al., 2000.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-10 x 6.5-7.5 µ; ellipsoid; ornamented with amyloid warts and ridges extending up to about 0.5 µ high; connectors fairly frequent, forming partially reticulate patterns. Cheilomacrocystidia narrowly fusiform; to about 60 x 7.5 µ. Pleuromacrocystidia scattered; inconspicuous; narrowly fusiform; barely projecting. Pileipellis an ixocutis; elements 2.5-5 µ wide.

REFERENCES: Gröger, 1968. (Nilsson & Persson, 1978; Phillips, 1981; Heilmann-Clausen et al., 2000; Kränzlin, 2005; Nuytinck & Verbeken, 2005; Verbeken & Vesterholt, 2008.) Herb. Kuo 10141408.

Further Online Information:

Lactarius deterrimus at Roger's Mushrooms


Lactarius deterrimus

Lactarius deterrimus

Lactarius deterrimus

Lactarius deterrimus

Lactarius deterrimus
Spores (fine focus rolled to show ornamentation height)

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Kuo, M. (2016, January). Lactarius deterrimus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: