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Lactarius torminosus (Schaeff.: Fr.) Pers.
Agaricus torminosus Schaeff., 1774 : 7; Agaricus torminosus Schaeff. Fr,: 1821 : 63; Lactarius torminosus (Schaeff.) Pers., 1797 : 64. Type: Not selected; described from Germany. SYNONYM: Lactarius necator (Bull.: Fr.) P. Karst ., 1879: 32, non ss. auct.
A medium-sized to large Lactarius associated with Betula ; cap zonate, flesh-pink to brick, margin bearded with long hairs.
DESCRIPTION: Cap 40-110 mm, at first broadly convex with a slightly depressed to umbilicate centre and inrolled margin, then becoming more depressed to almost funnel-shaped, margin for a long time remaining decurved; surface smooth in the centre, outwards with radiating, adpressed, entangled hairs, at margin bearded with up to 10 mm long hairs, dry, flesh-pink to brick, with brick to orange-brown concentric zones; hairs at margin salmon, those at some distance from the margin darker, typically clavpink or brick. Gills broadly adnate to decurrent, medium broad, fairly crowded, sometimes forked near the stem, pale pinkish buff. Stem 35-70 x 10-30 mm, cylindric; surface smooth, dry, pinkish buff to salmon, flesh-pink or brick, at apex often with a coral zone, whitish at base, sometimes slightly pitted or with coral spots. Flesh firm, soon becoming hollow in the stem, white, in cap tinged like surface; taste very acrid after a few seconds; smell acidic-fruity, almost like rhubarb. Milk white, unchanging, rather sparse; taste almost immediately very hot. Spore deposit pale cream.
Spores 7.5-9.6 x 5.6-6.9 um, av. 8.2-8.6 x 6. 1-6.3 um, broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid. Q= 1.20-1.50, av. 1.30-1.37; ornamentation up to 0.5 um high, of warts and ridge; connected by thin lines to form several closed meshes; plage mostly inamyloid, rarelv with a central, amyloid spot. Basidia (35-)40-55 x 9-10.5 um, subclavate to clavate,4-s pored. Pleuromacrocystidia scattered to numerous, 50-70 x 6.5-10 um, fusiform to lanceolate, often with a mucronate apex. Gill edge heterogeneous; cheilomacrocystidia numerous, 30-50 x 5-7.5 um, flexuose-fusiform to lanceolate, often with or mucronate monilifofm apex- Pileipellis an ixocutis of densely interwoven hyphae; hyphae 3-7 um broad; slime-layer about 20 um thick.
ECOLOGY AND DISTRIBUTION: Lactarius torminosus is associated with Betula and is found on dry as well as on damp soil, both in forests, parks and gardens. It is common from July to October throughout the area.
DISCUSSION: Lactarius torminosus can be confused with the very similar L. torminosulus . The latter has similar or more ochraceous colours, but it is smaller.