Saffron Milk Caps (Lactarius deliciosus)



Lactarius deliciosus, or Saffron Milk Caps, are probably the most common of the edible fungi in our area.

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Lactarius deliciosus

ID KEY:

Lactarius deliciosus, commonly known as the saffron milkcap, belongs to the Russulaceae family. The genus ‘Lactarius‘ is named for the milky orange sap that these mushrooms bleed/lactate when cut The species name, ‘deliciosus‘ is pretty self explanatory… They are delicious.

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CAP: Carrot orange, and can become a duller orange with age. Concentric rings which are tones of orange and white. Convex when young, becoming funnel-shaped with age. About 15-18cm diameter. Younger specimens can be smaller.

STEM: Orange and white with darker orange blotches. Hollow inside. Around 7cm height.

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GILLS: Orange, can become greenish with age. Decurrent (running down the stem.)

ECOLOGY: Grows in mycorrhizal association with exotic pines. Most abundant around late May-mid July depending on environmental conditions.

OTHER IMPORTANT FEATURES: All parts will produce a milky orange sap when cut. All parts bruise blue-green.

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