Lactarius zonarius

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Lactarius zonarius (Bull.) Fr. (illustrated 40% life size) Cap 5–12cm across, flattened convex at first, then with a central depression and eventually widely funnel-shaped, with a somewhat irregular and broadly wavy margin, the margin incurved, later rounded, shortly hairy or hairless; pale buff with yellowish centre and often numerous dull apricot or russet concentric bands; surface greasy rather than sticky, slightly lumpy-rough. Stem 30–70×1.5–3.5mm; whitish or the colour of the cap centre, with very slightly sunken, yellowish to cinnamon or fawn spots and blotches, usually numerous, sometimes sparse or absent; usually with a large cavity. Flesh slightly creamy white, becoming pinkish in places after 15 minutes or so and eventually pale, livid wine-coloured. Gills decurrent, fairly closely spaced, narrow; saffron; rather rigid and fairly easily breaking. Milk abundant, white; taste after a few seconds very hot, smell acrid-aromatic with a fruity element. Spores 7–8.5×6–7¼, elliptical; warts mainly joined in chains or crests in a partial network. Spore print deep cream to pale ochre (E–F). Habitat with broad-leaved trees, especially oak; late summer to autumn. Uncommon. Not edible. Note this species was named L. insulsus (Fr.) Fr. in my first book.