|California Fungi—Hypomyces lactifluorum
(Photo: © Michael Wood)
(Schwein.) Tul. & C. Tul.
Annls Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 4 13: 11. 1860.
Fruit-body a bright-orange mold growing on the surface of members of the Russulaceae (in California usually
); gills of the parasitized host reduced to folds; in age, minute, reddish-orange perithecial mounds develop (use hand lens); context of host firm, brittle, if
, then oozing a latex; odor at first fungal, then of shellfish; taste mild in
, potentially peppery if
Ascospores 35.0 x 43.0 x 6.0-7.5 µm, spindle-shaped, apiculate, equally two-celled, thin-walled, warted, contents globular; asci uniserate; spores white in deposit.
, and possibly other members of the Russulaceae; north coastal in distribution; fruiting shortly after the fall rains; occasional to common.
Edible and very good.
This Ascomycete parasite transforms its host, often
, from white to brilliant orange, and causes the gills to abort their development. The "gills," still produce spores, but only those of
. These emanate from countless reddish-orange perithecial mounds which dot the surface at maturity.
is most conspicuous member of the genus, other species are occasionally encountered. These include:
which forms the familiar white to yellow cottony growths on boletes;
, which despite its name meaning "reddish," produces a cream to pale-tan growth on the gills of
is a yellowish-orange mold found on the spore-bearing surface of senescent polypores;
is an olive-colored species, occasional in California, that attacks the gills of
is the common whitish to pinkish mold seen on the surface of
, is a pallid species which attacks
(1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA. 959 p.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A.
(2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Rogerson, C.T. & Samuels, G.J.
(1994). Agaricicolous Species of
. Mycologia 86: 839-866.
Siegel, N. & Schwarz, C.
(2016). Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA. 601 p.
Other Descriptions and Photos
Arora (1991): p. 248 (D & CP)
Lincoff: p. 373 (D). pl. 294, 429 (CP)
McKenny: p. 207 (D & CP)
Miller: sp. 422 (D & CP)
Orr & Orr: p. 44 (D). pl. 10 (CP)
Phillips: p. 312 (D). p. 313 (CP)
Smith (1975): sp. 16 (D & CP)
(D=Description; I=Illustration; P=Photo; CP=Color Photo)
The Fungi of California
Copyright © 2004-2020 Michael Wood & Fred Stevens