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Lactarius chromospermus (igisazi)

Lactarius chromospermus is an African milk-cap fungus species with chocolate brown gills that only forms a symbiotic relationship with species of Brachystegia in Miombo woodland.
Lactarius chromospermus

Lactarius chromospermus (Photo: Annemieke Verbeken)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Lactarius chromospermus Pegler

Common name: 

igisazi (Kirundi)

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria but considered rare.

Habitat: 

Miombo woodland (woodland, characteristic of the Zambezian region of Africa).

Key Uses: 

None known.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Phylum: 
Basidiomycota
Order: 
Russulales
Family: 
Russulaceae
Genus: Lactarius

About this species

Lactarius is a fungal genus in the group commonly known as milk-caps, as they often exude latex (milky fluid) when cut. The large milk-cap group has recently been split in two genera: Lactarius and Lactifluus. Lactarius is well represented in tropical Africa and Madagascar with 40 currently accepted species, although it is probable that over 70 species exist.

The genus Lactarius was described in 1797 by the South African scientist Christian Hendrik Persoon – the ‘Prince of Mycologists’. The species L. chromospermus was described in 1982 by David Pegler, previously the Head of Mycology at Kew. Its most striking characteristics are its chocolate brown gills and spore print, which is outside the known white to yellow colour variation of the other agaricoid Russulales genera.

Genus: 
Lactarius

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