Observation 34374: Lactarius pallescens Hesler & A.H. Sm.

When: 2010-02-12

Collection location: Los Trancos Preserve, Palo Alto, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

No specimen available

Found under live oak.

Cap viscid, stipe slightly viscid, taste mild, latex white, stains gills purple.

Species Lists



Proposed Names

13% (4)
Used references: Milk Mushrooms Of North America Bessette, Harris and Bessette.

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Well, there isn’t anything right now…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-03-01 07:43:46 PST (-0800)

But I’ll try to keep this in mind later in the year, if I am still here, and if I come across purple-staining Lactarius. Which there are no guarantees given that my mind is turning into swiss cheese living here… I think it is the fondue… but I’ll try to remember…

Please, Douglas
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-03-01 07:20:00 PST (-0800)

When you’re at it i Switzerland, try to find some convincing characters that can tell Lactarius violascens apart from luridus. I haven’t managed to do that..
Lactarius uvidus is usually not a problem, because it grows in a different habitat.
These three species (also described as varieties of uvidus) are the ones you are most likely to come across.

Ok, after 15min of research…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-03-01 06:32:36 PST (-0800)

In between doing better things with my life, I spent 15 mins on this issue, looking at “Lactarius of North America”, Hesler & Smith (1979). They have a number of closely related species around the L. uvidus to L pallescens species, with some variations.

It looks like generally, L. uvidus and variations are really an eastern species, and I guess shouldn’t be used in California. Unless you can prove the green in KOH on the cap, and the ixocutis of the cap.

On the other hand, L. pallescens and variations in a species from the west, without the green stain in KOH, and with a ixotrichoderm on the cap. But it should be found under conifers, and this was found under mixed hardwoods… Although there was perhaps a D. fir some 50-60 feet away or so, est. from memory (actually probably more…), so who knows.

They state that L. californiensis was only known from Jackson Forest in CA, and I wasn’t near that… and the taste was mild.

They go on to state that L. pallescens var. pallescens should be off-white to light grey with rusty stains on the stipe, and that L. pallescens var. palmerensis should pinkish tan, with orangish stains on the stipe. Also L. pallescens var. pallescens should taste slowly acrid, and L. pallescens var. palmerensis should be slightly resinous and slightly bitter.

So, this seems to be a better match to L. pallescens var. palmerensis, except, that one was only known from under aspens in Palmer Alaska. So, oh, well…

Anycase, I guess I’ll go with Lactarius pallescens for the CA purple staining stuff from now on, and ignore the “very slimy” notes, and just move on with my life. It seems like that is a better name for use in the western US.

(Hee-hee – there is one funny bit, the species was described from material from CA, ID, OR, and WA. Except for one collection from Switzerland by Smith! So, maybe I should try and see if I come across this western US species here at some point…)

Ah, well, then…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-02-28 11:07:11 PST (-0800)

This isn’t L. californiensis then, the taste was mild, not acrid.

Defining features
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2010-02-28 10:59:09 PST (-0800)

According to Bessette the stipe is dry to moist, not viscid and at times it stains brownish orange when bruised. It also has very acrid tasting flesh and smaller spores. Other lookalikes are L. uvidus var montanus (Green KOH reaction on cap cuticle) and L. cascadensis which has cinnamon buff to cinnamon colored gills.

Yeah, I need to check some more sources.
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-02-28 10:40:19 PST (-0800)

I did a quick check on this one, and L. uvidus seemed to kinda match ok enough. I think L. pallescens should be more viscid on the cap and stipe. The stipe here wasn’t slimy.

But I really should check the Smith and Hessler monograph. I don’t have a copy of the Bassette book…

Is there some defining feature of the L. californiensis?

Lactarius californiensis
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2010-02-28 07:25:41 PST (-0800)

Just another species to consider.

You can count on my objection
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2010-02-28 07:07:42 PST (-0800)

when you use a “(Fries) Fries” name in California ;-)

Created: 2010-02-28 06:28:57 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2010-02-28 06:28:57 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 131 times, last viewed: 2018-09-24 06:11:15 PDT (-0700)
Show Log