Saffron Milkcap

Lactarius deliciosus

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Saffron Milkcap Lactarius deliciosus (L.) Gray (illustrated 50% life size) Cap 3–10cm across, convex then shallowly funnel-shaped, margin incurved at first; numerous small, purplish-brick to salmon blotches in narrow, concentric bands on a pale flesh-coloured or rosy buff background, becoming tinged greenish in places; slightly sticky, firm, brittle. Stem 30–60Γ—15–20mm; pale buff or vinaceous to orangey or salmon, sometimes with darker, shallow, spot-like depressions, becoming green in places. Flesh pale yellowish, carrot in places from the milk after an hour or so, fading, finally dull greyish-green. Gills slightly decurrent, closely spaced; pale pinkish-apricot to saffron, becoming carrot and slowly dull pistachio-green on bruising. Milk carrot; taste mild or slightly bitter. Spores 7–9Γ—6–7ΒΌ, elliptical; thin to thickish ridges forming a fairly full network. Spore print pale ochre (F). Habitat with pines; summer to autumn. Frequent. Edible much esteemed in Europe. Note very similar to L. deterrimus (opposite).