Lactarious Rubrilacteus

Lactarious Rubrilateus Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC
Lactarious Rubrilateus Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Lactarious rubrilacteus has a carrot orange cap that is flat to vase-shaped but closed under when young. They grow up to 14 cm across, often with darker orange lines in the form of concentric circles. The cap is sticky when wet. It has crowded gills and a squat orange stem that is often hollow, up to 8 cm long, and up to 2 cm thick. This mushroom stains a deep green color when handled. When fresh, the mushroom exudes an orange-red latex or “milk” that does not change color. When this mushroom is old and has been wet, it will become a dark forest green in color.

This mushroom is easily distinguished from any other of the group by the red color of the milk which drips from it when cut or broken. The meat of this mushroom changes over time from exposure, going from light orange to dark green, the milk follows suit as well. the stem is usually an orange color with darker orange spots. Look for it where there are a lot of fir and pine trees.

Lactarious Rubrilateus Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC
Lactarious Rubrilateus Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

When cooked, it creates a rich gravy, so it’s best used in soups or stews, if frying, remove from heat before its juices have reduced, it gets tough if cooked too long, maybe the best way to cook them for the table would be by oven baking them. They say it has a taste, not unlike kidney stew.

The photos in this story were taken up on Haida Gwaii, the green photos were so hard to identify.

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