Not every edible orange milkcap is Lactarius deliciosus: first record of Lactarius quieticolor (sect. Deliciosi) from Brazil

  • Alexandre G. dos Santos e Silva-Filho Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
  • Marcelo Sulzbacher Terroir Sul, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Tine Grebenc Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Felipe Wartchow Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil


The natural distribution of species of Lactarius sect. Deliciosi is mainly in the northern hemisphere, where they grow in ectomycor-rhizal symbiosis mainly with conifers. Several species in this sec-tion are regionally well known and appreciated due to their culinary use. In South America, there is limited knowledge of their presence and harvesting, while their culinary value remains underexploited. Recently, field campaigns in pine plantations in southern Brazil revealed wide presence of Lactarius sect. Deliciosi species. Morpho-logical and molecular identification approaches confirmed that all Brazilian collections correspond to one European species, Lactarius quieticolor. Fruiting bodies occurred in plantations of Pinus taeda and/or P. elliottii, on acidic soils, and under humid climate with mild to hot summers. A review of edibility and organoleptic properties confirmed both L. quieticolor and its commonly misapplied name, L. deliciosus, in South America as edible and of high quality. Several other L. sect. Deliciosi species are less appreciated or with unknown palatability. Due to low potential for long-distance dispersal, an ecto-mycorrhizal partner switch from European to North American pine species is proposed, which may have happened in South America for both allochthonous symbiotic partners. There is still a possibility that other combinations were established, including combinations with less valuable species from L. sect. Deliciosi.