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Lactarius rubidus (Hesler & A.H. Sm.) Methven

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Scientific name
Lactarius rubidus
(Hesler & A.H. Sm.) Methven
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Siegel, N.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/138329630/138330341


Lactarius rubidius is widespread over a large area in western USA. Although it’s a popular edible mushroom, and is commonly harvested, there is no evidence of decline: It can be locally abundant where suitable habitat exists. Therefore, it is assessed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

Described as Lactarius fragilis var. rubidus in Hesler & Smith (1979), elevated to species rank by Methven (1997), formally published by Kuo et al. (2013).
Lactarius camphoratus and L. fragilis were misapplied names.

Geographic range

Occurring from Santa Barbara County, California, north into Washington; mostly in coastal and coast range forests. Also in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in California. There is a single disjunct record from San Diego, CA. It is most common in the range of Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) in California and southwest Oregon, and Bishop Pine (Pinus muricata) and Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) in both their native and non-native habitat in California. The populations at northern and southern parts of the range are more disjointed and localized.

Population and Trends

The population size is large, occurring over a widespread area, and is stable. There is no indication of any decline.

Population Trend: stable

Habitat and Ecology

Ectomycorrhizal, growing with a number of different tree associates (Pinus spp., Quercus spp., Pseudotsuga menziesiiNotholithocarpus densiflorus).


No global threat are identified. Locally, the decline of Tanoak due to Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) alters habitat, but is often replaced with an alternative host, Douglas-fir. Although this species in collected as a prized edible in much of the range, no decline in abundance from over harvesting has been observed.

Conservation Actions

No conservation measures are needed for this species since it is widespread and there are no major threats.

Use and Trade

A highly prized edible, used mostly in desserts (cookies, ice cream, etc). When dried it has a strong aroma of and the flavor of maple sugar. An ounce (28 g) of dried mushrooms sells for ~$20.00 USD.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2019. Lactarius rubidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T138329630A138330341. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-1.RLTS.T138329630A138330341.en .Accessed on 2 February 2024

Country occurrence