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Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri

[ Agaricomycetes > Russulales > Russulaceae > Lactarius . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

The pink staining, the whitish to buff-brown colors, the close or crowded gills, and the very acrid taste distinguish this attractive species. Lactarius piperatus is similar, but is typically a larger mushroom, and it does not stain pink when bruised or sliced. I have seen specimens of Lactarius subplinthogalus (which does stain pink) that were similarly colored, but that species has very distant gills and, often, a wavy or scalloped cap margin. Lactarius fumosus is also similar, but has a smoky brown cap and less acrid taste.

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri is found in eastern North America under hardwoods.

Description:

Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods--especially oaks; growing scattered or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in eastern North America.

Cap: 3-6 cm; convex at first, becoming flat, often with a central depression, or shallowly vase-shaped; the margin even by maturity; dry; finely suedelike; whitish to buff, or sometimes pale brownish with maturity; more or less evenly colored; sometimes bruising pink.

Gills: Attached to the stem or running slightly down it; often forked near the stem; close or crowded; white at first, later dingy buff; often stained salmon pink by the milk when sliced.

Stem: 5-7 cm long; 0.5-2 cm thick; more or less equal; dry; finely suedelike; without potholes; whitish; usually bruising pink; hollowing.

Flesh: Soft; whitish but typically staining pink when cut (occasionally not staining, or staining only faintly and very slowly--especially in hot, dry weather).

Milk: White; unchanging; usually staining surfaces pink; staining white paper slightly yellow.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste usually strongly acrid, but occasionally slightly so or even mild.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on cap surface.

Spore Print: Pale yellow.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-8 µ; globose or subglobose; ornamentation 0.5-1.5 µ high, as amyloid spines and ridges forming a partial or complete reticulum. Pleuromacrocystidia absent. Cheilomacrocystidia abundant; up to 60 x 6 µ; subfusoid to subcylindric. Pileipellis a trichoepithelium or an epithelium.

REFERENCES: (Smith & Hesler, 1962) Hesler & Smith, 1979. (Hesler & Smith, 1979; Phillips, 1991/2005.) Herb. Kuo 07280306, 07140804.

Hesler & Smith (1979) describe three varieties of Lactarius subvernalis, including var. cokeri (described above), var. subvernalis (milk white but changing to yellow on exposure to air), and var. albo-ochraceus (milk white, drying red).

Further Online Information:

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri in Hesler & Smith (1979)
Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri at Roger's Mushrooms

 

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri
Spore Print

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri
Spores

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri
Cheilocystidia

Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri
Pileipellis



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Kuo, M. (2011, March). Lactarius subvernalis var. cokeri. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/lactarius_subvernalis_cokeri.html