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Lactarius fallax A.H. Sm. & Hesler

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Scientific name
Lactarius fallax
A.H. Sm. & Hesler
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Siegel, N.
Dahlberg, A. & Mueller, G.M.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/195922333/195926854


Lactarius fallax is a common species on the Pacific Coast; from Northern California into Alaska, and across the Pacific Northwest mountains. Genetic studies indicate that this name presently may encompass two species in western North America. As currently circumscribed, though, the species is common and widespread across the Cascade Mountains from California into SE Alaska and east into Idaho and its population is stable. The species is assessed as Least Concern.

Taxonomic notes

This species was described from Oregon, USA (Smith and Hesler 1962). Two varieties were described: L. fallax var. fallax and L. fallax var. concolor on the basis of marginate gill edges. Little else separates them (Hesler and Smith 1979, Methven 1997). Genetic studies have showed that there are two species being called Lactarius fallax in the Pacific Northwest. "The western North American L. fallax is a paraphyletic species comprising at least two species. The two clades recovered in the analysis cannot be distinguished microscopically. Both clades contain a specimen with pigmented lamella edges and a specimen without pigmentation in the lamella edge" (Stubbe and Verbeken 2012). More work is needed to delimit species in this complex.

Geographic range

This species occurs on the Pacific coast of North America, from northern California into south-east Alaska, the Cascade range of northern Oregon and into British Columbia, Canada, east to Idaho, USA.

Population and Trends

Lactarius fallax is a common species with a widespread population, occurring in young to mature conifer forests in coastal northern California, Pacific Northwest and Alaska. No decline has been recorded.

Population Trend: stable

Habitat and Ecology

It is ectomycorrhizal with Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and other conifers, likely fir (Abies spp.), and hemlock (Tsuga spp.). It is very common in coastal forests, but occasional in montane forests.


No threats have been identified with regards to this species.

Conservation Actions

No specific conservation actions are needed with regards to this species. Modern taxonomic work and genetic sequencing is required to delimit species boundaries.

Use and Trade

This is an edible species (Siegel and Schwarz 2016), but not often collected.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2022. Lactarius fallax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T195922333A195926854. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2022-1.RLTS.T195922333A195926854.en .Accessed on 2 August 2023

Country occurrence