Ugly Milkcap

Lactarius turpis

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Ugly Milkcap Lactarius turpis (Weinm.) Fr. syn. L. necator sensu auct. (illustrated 35% life size) Cap 5–20cm across, convex then centrally depressed, margin inrolled at first; dark olive-brown, umber, or olive-blackish, margin paler; firm and thick-fleshed, sticky and slimy, shallowly felted at first, somewhat woolly at margin. Stem 40–80×10–25mm, short and stout, cylindrical or narrowing towards base; concolorous with cap or paler; hollow, surface often shallowly pitted, slimy. Flesh white, discolouring brown in places. Gills decurrent, fairly narrow and crowded; cream to yellowish-buff, pale sepia where wounded. Milk white, abundant; taste very hot and acrid. All parts purple-violet with ammonia or KOH. Spores 7.5–8.5×6–7¼, elliptical; ridges tending to run across the spore, forming a fairly well-developed network. Spore print cream (B) with slight salmon tinge. Habitat usually with birch in damp places; late summer to late autumn. Very common. Not edible.