Saffron Milk Caps (Lactarius deliciosus)

Lactarius deliciosus, or Saffron Milk Caps, are probably the most common of the edible fungi in our area.


Lactarius deliciosus


Lactarius deliciosus, commonly known as the saffron milkcap, belongs to the Russulaceae family. The genus ‘Lactarius‘ is named for the milky orange sap that these mushrooms bleed/lactate when cut The species name, ‘deliciosus‘ is pretty self explanatory… They are delicious.


CAP: Carrot orange, and can become a duller orange with age. Concentric rings which are tones of orange and white. Convex when young, becoming funnel-shaped with age. About 15-18cm diameter. Younger specimens can be smaller.

STEM: Orange and white with darker orange blotches. Hollow inside. Around 7cm height.


GILLS: Orange, can become greenish with age. Decurrent (running down the stem.)

ECOLOGY: Grows in mycorrhizal association with exotic pines. Most abundant around late May-mid July depending on environmental conditions.

OTHER IMPORTANT FEATURES: All parts will produce a milky orange sap when cut. All parts bruise blue-green.