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Lactarius pulchrispermus Verbeken

Concise description:

Small to medium-sized carpophores with brownish buff caps, sometimes very crenulate margin and pale brown gills, with a pale brown spore print, microscopically easily recognizable by the zebroid spores and the abundant pleuro- and pileocystidia.

Macroscopic features:

Pileus 12-35 (-80) mm diam., becoming slightly depressed, sometimes with a small papilla, often asymmetric; margin sometimes strongly crenulate, striate; pellis dry, smooth or felty, finely squamulose in the centre, brownish to pale brown, hygrophanous, darker when bruised. Lamellae adnate to subdecurrent, with numerous lamellulae, dense, moderately narrow (1-4 mm), thin, paper-like, pale brown. Stipe eccentric or central, (10-) 15-40 (-50) x 2-7 mm, cylindrical, slender, tapering downwards, smooth, pale brown to greyish orange, chambered to fistulous. Context thin-fleshy, cream-colour, beige to brownish, unchanging or changing salmon to greyish; taste mild, sometimes slightly acrid after a while, sometimes menthol-like; smell slightly spicy. Latex scarce, white, sometimes changing brown; taste mild, spicy or slightly acrid. Spore-deposit dark beige to pale brown.

Microscopic features:

Spores globose to subglobose, 7.1-8.0-8.7 x 6.8-7.6-8.3 µm (Q = 1.00-1.04-1.12); ornamentation zebroid, composed of ridges and some warts, up to 2 ?m high; plage distally amyloid. Basidia 45-55 x 10-13 µm, subclavate, 4-spored. True pleurocystidia very abundant, 60-85 x 10-12 µm, cylindrical to subfusiform; content needle-like. Pleuropseudocystidia abundant, often very emergent, 2-3 µm diam., cylindrical to tortuous or corkscrew-like, often branched. Lamella-edge sterile; marginal cells 35-70 x 5-9 µm, cylindrical to fusiform, with tapering, mucronate or rounded apex, sometimes septate; wall slightly thickened; content often needle-like. Hymenophoral trama irregular. Pileipellis trichoderm-like; terminal elements (20-) 40-70 (-90) x 6-15 µm, cylindrical, clavate or fusiform, slightly thick-walled; pileocystidia abundant, 40-70 (-90) x 6-15 µm, clavate, thick-walled or thin-walled, with needle-like content.


Zambezian miombo woodland


Tropical Africa: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Systematic position: Molecular analysis (Eberhardt & Verbeken, unpubl. data) has shown that this species belongs to the subgenus Plinthogali. There is some superficial morphological similarity such as the brownish colours and winged spores, but other characters (pileocystidia!) are very deviating for this subgenus.




SEM photos