Sooty Milkcap

Lactarius fuliginosus

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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Sooty Milkcap Lactarius fuliginosus (Fr.) Fr. (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 4.5–9cm across, flattened convex, later with a depression or shallowly funnel-shaped, margin incurved at first; dark dull umber, cigar-brown or sepia; surface dry, appearing finely velvety. Stem 40–100×7–20mm; concolorous with cap or paler; surface as cap. Flesh whitish, becoming partly or spotted with salmon pink in two to three minutes after exposure; taste mild. Gills shortly decurrent; buffy ochre with a salmon tinge, salmon-pink on bruising. Milk white, becoming pinkish but only in contact with the flesh; taste mild, later slightly bitter. Spores 7.8–9×7–8¼, subglobose to broadly ovate; fairly well-developed network of ridges up to 1.5¼ tall, with finer ones between them. Spore print pale ochre (F). Cap surface of upright, shortly cylindrical cells underlain by a cellular layer. Habitat beech woods; summer to autumn. Occasional. Edible but poor. Note Henrici (2002) comments that this may not be L. fuliginosus in the strict sense of Basso. Very similar to L. azonites (opposite).