Observation 184572: Lactarius rubidus (Hesler & A.H. Sm.) Methven
When: 2014-10-09
Herbarium specimen reported
0 Sequences

CS 2102

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ah, it was still under fragilis!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-11-25 10:24:19 PST (-0800)

no wonder I missed it.

regardless of name precedence, I am still not convinced that we are talking about the exact same species in CA and the PNW.

It doesn’t appear to be true that your PNW fragilis “only” grows out of well rotted wood, either, and that is certainly not the case for its CA counterpart(s), something that appears to be assumed in the PNW key; some of these keys need to be revised as our knowledge base changes.

The latex in our CA version starts out like diluted milk (never bright white) and immediately turns almost clear. In other words, there is indeed a color change upon exposure to air. I have heard that is not the case with your PNW versions, also that the fragrance is not nearly so powerful.

It was certainly not true with the Lactarius getting called rubidus in OR last month.

Both features, along with fruiting preference, are evidence that we are talking about different species. Which latin name what ends up with which version is not all that important, and will get sorted out eventually.

Thanks for your input. I look forward to receiving that candy cap care package. :)

Your response says a lot.
By: Chris Herrera (The Mushroom Whisperer)
2016-11-25 10:07:09 PST (-0800)

PNW Key Council Index of Species, at the bottom of the page:. #27, 505a, through the link you provided.

If what we have in the PNW is proven different from what grows in California, our PNW mushrooms will remain L. rubidus and the California L. “rubidus” will have to be renamed… Maybe L. neorubidus or L. faux-rubidus, or simply L. not-rubidus…

I hope your Thanksgiving was pleasant.


all of which was unknown to everyone here
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-11-25 08:56:22 PST (-0800)

until yesterday. so bully for you for tracking this down and sharing!

I will contact Andy for his input. Just wrote him yesterday about another Lactarius. I doubt that Kuo has spent much time in the PNW.

Since Christian and I and the majority of folks posting here on MO about rubidus are from CA and spend the majority of our time hunting here, well, yes, we have a CA centric perspective. Redwood coast and all, eh?

Surely you would agree that in our perspective, growing “from a stump” is an unusual habitat? I don’t get the majority of my mushroom info from books or papers, but directly from the field.

How do you explain the lack of L. rubidus in the PNW key council keys?


I am perfectly willing to expand my concept of where rubidus grows, but would like to see the concrete evidence for myself. and again, running the DNA would be the icing on the cake, for those who seem to have the funding to do so.

Remember, for a long time we were calling our CA candy cap species fragilis!

This is an intriguing avenue for pursuit, but not quite settled, IMO.

Would still appreciate collections of the PNW Lactarius “rubidus,” Chris, so thanks for the offer. You can hold the cookies though; I much prefer my rubidus in savory dishes.

Excellent point
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2016-11-24 13:48:20 PST (-0800)

Chris took the most important first step: look up where the type specimens are from.
Bothering to do so leads us to some interesting points:
… Smith’s holotype specimens of Lactarius rubidus (although it was known by a different name then) are from the Van Duzer corridor.

So: Lactarius rubidus in the strictest sense is “originally” a PNW species.

Smith’s notes accompanying the holotype also note that they were growing “on rotten wood”.

So Debbie’s statement over at observation 150048 that this is “unusual habitat” is actually not true based on the holotype species concept.

One would have to argue that the terrestrial ones are the ones that don’t line up with the original concept!

I’m currently in Eastern Washington
By: Chris Herrera (The Mushroom Whisperer)
2016-11-24 13:41:15 PST (-0800)

for the week, but when I get back to the west side, I’ll see if I can find some fresh for you.

Since you refer to Hesler, it should be noted that Hesler & Smith’s type collection for L. fragilis var. rubidus was made from Polk County, Oregon. 100 miles closer to Lacey WA, than to the Northern California border. They list distribution as Washington and California.

Kuo et al also include Washington in distribution. Andy Methven currently has samples that were collected from our Tacoma patch.

If I am unable to find any fresh for you, I would be happy to send you some dried. And some cookies, if you like…


what I would like
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-11-24 09:14:46 PST (-0800)

is to examine them fresh.

barring that, please describe the latex to me. You could send me a few dry (not to eat but to examine) and I could compare the spores.

there are a number of Lactarius sp. that have that light fenugreek odor, but very few with the power of L. rubidus. The original L. fragilis is hardly fragrant by comparison to our rubidus.

Hesler described these (PNW examples) growing from well rotted wood, and C shows an example of this elsewhere on MO.

Certainly not the first examples that I have seen of Russulales growing directly from wood, but is this true of ALL of your PNW “candy caps?”

Again, the orange brown slightly nubbly capped lactarius sp. that I personally examined up at Westwind, growing form the ground and being called candy caps by others were most certainly not rubidus. Their latex was white.

And then a gal I know who has lived on the OR coast for the past twenty years always comes back to CA to pick her candy caps. So, I remain unconvinced but the evidence so far..

We may not have L. rubidus,
By: Chris Herrera (The Mushroom Whisperer)
2016-11-23 12:28:53 PST (-0800)

but we most certainly have some kind of candy caps. We have harvested them in Tumwater, Lacey, and Tacoma. You want some?

Everything matches, including strong maple smell in some, brown sugar in others. Great cookies and waffles!


caps look rather smooth
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-11-23 09:03:00 PST (-0800)

no latex evidence. did it change from a diluted milky white to almost clear?

I am not convinced that candy caps aka L. rubidus, occur in the PNW.

Created: 2014-10-21 14:35:02 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2014-10-28 10:37:20 PDT (-0700)
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