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Lactarius rufus   (Red-hot Lactarius)
Family
Russulaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 3-10 cm diameter, stem 4-8 cm tall * 0.5-2 cm thick
Edibility
Inedible

Description
Lactarius rufus, also know as Red-hot Lactarius, is a small to medium-sized agaric that has a dull reddish-brown cap, creamy white gills and exudes milk that remains white. The flesh tastes very hot after about 30 seconds but can be eaten only after being salted and then pickled.

Cap dry and velvety with a powdery matte texture and never sticky. It is reddish or bay-brown coloured, at first convex with an inrolled margin, later flattened or slightly depressed typically with a small central umbo, Gills first creamy white, later more similarly coloured as the cap, sub-decurrent, which means they travel partially down the stem and are fairly crowded. Spores are off white. Stem is similarly coloured as the cap or more pallid, smooth and tapers off and darkens toward the base. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species Lactarus hepaticus exudes white milk that stains yellow as it dries.

Lactarius rufus on the www.first-nature.com web site.




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WARNING

If you plan to collect fungi to be eaten, misidentified mushrooms can make you sick or kill you. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible. Use many resources, and be skeptical of your own conclusions. Please consider that many mushrooms take years of experience to identify reliably.

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