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

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 web site.

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