Birch Milkcap

Lactarius tabidus

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Birch Milkcap Lactarius tabidus Fr. syn. L. theiogalus sensu auct. (illustrated 60% life size) Cap 2–4cm across, shallowly convex with a central depression, often with a pimple in the middle; dull ochre-buff to yellowish-rust or dull orange-ochre; somewhat fragile, surface matt, not sticky, often with small wrinkles. Stem 30–50×4–10mm, cylindrical or narrowing upwards; coloured as the cap above, more brick below; fairly rigid but easily broken, becoming hollow. Flesh whitish; thin in cap. Gills slightly decurrent, crowded; pale yellowish-cinnamon with a rosy tinge. Milk white, rather scanty, a drop on a handkerchief turns slowly yellow; taste almost mild, but slightly hot and acrid. Spores 7–9.5×6–7¼, elliptical; warts mainly isolated and only a few joined by fine ridges. Spore print pale cream (B) with a slight salmon tinge. Cap surfaces cellular. Habitat with deciduous trees, especially birch, and in moist places; late summer to late autumn. Very common. Toxicity not edible.