Alder Milkcap

Lactarius obscuratus


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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Alder Milkcap Lactarius obscuratus (Lasch) Fr. syn. L. obnubilus (Lasch) Fr. Fruit body remarkably small and delicate for a Lactarius. (illustrated 55% life size) Cap 6–16mm across, at first flat and slightly convex, later with a shallow depression, often with a small, somewhat pointed umbo; tinged dull cinnamon, especially in the darker centre, with dull olivaceous tints or hazel at the centre, later becoming somewhat brighter in colour and losing the olive tinge; translucid and striate at the margin due to the gills showing through, surface smooth or practically so. Stem 17–21Γ—3–4mm, cylindrical or slightly swollen at the base; coloured like the cap margin, but a somewhat redder brown, especially towards the base. Flesh very thin in cap. Gills adnate to slightly decurrent, slightly to somewhat closely spaced, thin, fairly broad; yellowish to dull cream. Milk white, unchanging; taste mild. Spores 6–7.7Γ—5–6.2ΒΌ, elliptical; warts joined by a well-developed network of ridges. Spore print whitish (A). Superficial layer of cap cellular. Habitat in bogs with alder; early summer to late autumn. Occasional. Not edible. Note very similar to L. omphaliformis.

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