Collection location: Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co., California, USA [Click for map]
There were several of these fruiting in a neighbor’s yard, along with Paxillus involutus. Which led me to discover the birch tucked into a corner of the property. That made it easy to narrow the Lactarius ID down to either L. pubescens or L. torminosus. Mykoweb says that L. pubescens fruits with birch and L. torminosus fruits in mountains with Salix and Populus. However, Arora states that they both associate with birch and can only be told apart microscopically. Rogers Mushrooms concurs. Smith and Hesler also agree about birches but state that L. torminosus has a “strongly burning acrid taste” along with differences only seen microscopically.
These mushrooms left a lingering burning sensation in my mouth and had creamy white spores. Latex was scanty, white, unchanging and left no stain. Which may have been because there was hardly any latex. I can’t speak for the microscopic characteristics.
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