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Jorinde Nuytinck & Annemieke Verbeken

Key to the European species of Lactarius sect. Deliciosi

Remark: Keep in mind that very small fruiting bodies and buttons are often entirely deep blue-green, regardless of the species (phenomenon observed in Lactarius salmonicolor, L. deliciosus, L. quieticolor and L. deterrimus).

1. Latex white; species growing with Larix
..... Lactarius porninsis *

1. Latex orange, red or blue; species growing with other coniferous trees ..... 2

2. Pileus entirely salmon orange, sometimes with a paler margin, without green tinges; green tinges seldom-ly present in very young or very old basidiocarps; species associated with Abies; pleuromacrocystidia very abundant and large (up to 96 m long)
..... Lactarius salmonicolor *

2. Pileus mostly not purely orange but with green, blue, brownish, greyish or red tinges; discolouring green when bruised or when older; species associated with Pinus or Picea; pleuromacrocystidia max. 70 m long, often quite rare ..... 3

3. Latex blue in the major part of the fruiting body but orange in the lower half of the stipe; stipe with clear blue tinges; species restricted to the mediterranean region; associated with Pinus halepensis
..... Lactarius cyanopus *

3. Latex orange or red, rarely with a bluish or greenish zone right underneath the pileipellis; stipe mainly orange, reddish or with green tinges; not restricted to the mediterranean region; associated with Pinus or Picea ..... 4

4. Latex red when exuded; lamellae pinkish to vinaceous red; associated with Pinus ..... 5

4. Latex orange when exuded; lamellae orange; associated with Pinus or Picea ..... 6

5. Pileus and stipe with orange tinges; pileus generally azonate; pileus slowly and relatively slightly discolouring greenish; stipe cylindrical or rarely tapering downwards; lamellae pinkish
..... Lactarius sanguifluus *

5. Pileus and stipe with pale to deep vinaceous red tinges; pileus generally clearly zonate; pileus strongly discolouring greenish after picking the basidiocarps; stipe mostly short and strongly tapering downwards; lamellae pale violet to vinaceous
..... Lactarius vinosus *

6. Orange latex becoming quickly vinaceous red (in 5 to 8 min.); often with a lot of green in pileus, especially in older specimens
..... Lactarius semisanguifluus *

6. Latex remaining orange for more than 1015 min.; some green may be present in the pileus, especially in bruised spots, but basidiocarp never entirely greenish ..... 7

7. Stipe without (obvious) scrobicules; species associated with Picea; spore ornamentation consisting of isolated warts and short ridges, never reticulate ..... 8

7. Stipe mostly with scrobicules; species associated with Pinus; spores ornamented with an incomplete reticulum ..... 9

8. Pileus typically azonate or with a few zones near the margin, with mainly bright orange colours and green tinges; stipe unicolourous bright orange without scrobicules but often with green hues; cheilomacrocystidia mostly quite abundant; species common everywhere in Europe
..... Lactarius deterrimus *

8. Pileus very clearly zonate and brown-orange with sometimes lilac-grey tinges; stipe pallid to dull orange-buff, rarely with unclear scrobicules; cheilomacrocystidia mostly rare; a subboreal, boreal and subalpine species
..... Lactarius fennoscandicus *

9. Latex orange, remaining orange or changing slowly to red in more than 30 min.; pileus orange, mostly with a whitish aspect, mostly clearly zonate; stipe clearly scrobiculate; species occurring on neutral to calcareous soil; spores not very heavily ornamented
..... Lactarius deliciosus *

9. Latex orange, changing to red in about 20 min.; pileus colour highly variable, from orange to brownish and sometimes bluish, but mostly dull; stipe almost without or with inconspicuous scrobicules; species growing on acidic soil; spores ornamented with very thick ridges
..... Lactarius quieticolor *