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Tawny Milkcap Mushroom

Lactarius volemus


Cap: 3-13 cm; at first convex with an inrolled margin; becoming flat, with a central depression, shallowly vase-shaped, or (rarely) with a slight bump over the disc, the margin even; smooth or slightly wrinkled, but usually finely velvety to the touch, at least when young; brownish orange, orangish brown, or sometimes lighter--or sometimes darker (approaching deep brownish red); without concentric zones of color, but often darker towards the center. Gills: Attached to the stem or running slightly down it; close; creamy white; discoloring brown where injured; often forking near the margin. Stem: 5-10 cm long; 0.5-2.5 cm thick; colored like the cap or paler; equal or tapering to base; smooth; sometimes vaguely "ribbed" longitudinally; solid or becoming hollowing. Flesh: White; staining slowly brown when sliced. Milk: White; copious; sometimes becoming brownish on exposure to air; staining tissues brown; staining white paper brown. Odor and Taste: Odor rather fishy (like a dead shad, which anglers will tell you is probably the most malodorous freshwater fish); taste mild. Spore Print: White.


Mycorrhizal with oaks and other hardwoods, as well as conifers; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in eastern North America.


Its white milk--which stains paper, your hands, and everything in sight brown--and its tendency to develop a fishy odor that increases in fishiness over time after the mushroom has been picked.

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Spotted by

Kentucky, USA

Spotted on Jul 14, 2013
Submitted on Jul 14, 2013

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