Paul Roberts's picture

Milk Cap

Observed: 5th October 2013 By: Paul RobertsPaul Roberts’s reputation in Fungi and LichensPaul Roberts’s reputation in Fungi and LichensPaul Roberts’s reputation in Fungi and Lichens

Brick coloured milk cap in scattered group below a silver birch.


Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!

Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Fenwickfield's picture


Some of these will have a distinctive smell especially if brought home and in a warm place also wrap the cap in a hanky and the milk on some changes colour on the hanky. This helps you narrow you id down.

Good luck


Paul Roberts's picture

Thanks, I'll give that a go.

Thanks, I'll give that a go. P

Paul Roberts's picture

Taste and smell

Right! Took your advice, and now appreciate the “good luck”. ... this might go on for a while.

Followed your suggestion and tried to apply some method. Considered all of the more reddish-orangy-brownish species illustrated in the Collins Fungi Guide excluding those that are exclusively found under conifer or spruce (we have neither). Included only those where cap is concolorous with stem. Excluded L. repraesentaneus (shaggy, Scotland).

Picked two different examples including this one. Wrapped separately in white kitchen paper, left a pale yellow stain when I unwrapped them a few hours later. I think this favours L. tabidus, L. lacunarum, L. fulvissimus or L. decipiens.

Taste was un-distinctive not unlike like raw culinary field mushroom - which excludes L. rufus (hot) L. lacunarum (acrid),L. rubrocinctus (slowly bitter), L. decipiens (acrid, bitter).

Placed them in a bag overnight. They had an un-distinctive smell, again like field mushroom perhaps VERY faintly radish/peppery. Rules out L quietus (faint oily/rancid), L. volemus (fishy), L. subumbonatus (musty, nauseous – and gills ochraceous yellow) and L. camphoratus (“unpleasant” then grass or curry).

Which leaves L. tabidus, L. obscuratus, L. aurantiacus and L. fulvissimus – favouring L. tabidus and L. fulvissimus because of the pale yellow stain.

Not L. fulvissimus (its gills have decurrent tooth). Unlikely L. obscuratus, (smaller, stem darker at base) and no alder in this specific location although elsewhere in this wood.

So, either L. aurantiacus or L. tabida. Less likely L. aurantiacus (stem described as “rather slender”) although cap has inrolled margin. Therefore more likely L. tabidus. Conforms to several other parts of the Collins description, occurs here under birch with oaks very close by, cap slightly wrinkled and warty, margins grooved. Stem is spindle-shaped. But, can’t detect any acrid flavour and gills not fully decurrent. Flesh is at first whitish then pale orange-buff when cut not yellow as described.

A bit undecided but definitely NOT L. rufus, and probably not L. aurantiacus. So, I’ll chance my arm on L. tabidus.

BTW thanks to this I now think we have at least three and possibly four different Lactarius in one 50m stretch of this wood.

Many thanks, Paul

Fenwickfield's picture


I would say it is from your comments above plus I have just re checked in my book The genus Lactarius and it keys out right,hope you enjoyed the detective work as I always think it's part of the excitement of finding a fungi and then being able to map them in the area you go to. I only go around the woods,fields within a 2 mile radius of my house (very rural) and have recorded over 350 different types of fungi on the national data base and lot's more that I have never been able to identify.

Pleased my tips helped
Best wishes


Paul Roberts's picture

Thanks Sheila

Yes I do enjoy the detective work even though it can be enormously frustrating at times. I think mapping is a really good idea and might be a winter project for us in this wood. And thanks, yes your tips really helped. Very glad you're here!

Best wishes, Paul