Fleecky milk-cap

Lactarius vellereus (= Lactifluus vellereus)

The fleecky milk-cap (Lactarius vellereus [= Lactifluus vellereus]) is one mushroom species living in flat-leaved forests. It combines characters of the genus Lactarius with that of the genus Russula, looking like something in between.
The fleecky milk-cap has an up to 20 cm diameter cap that scarcely lifts up from the soil because its stipe is short, maximum 6 cm tall. The cap is concave, deeper in the centre than in the edge. The whole mushroom is white except a few small, round spots near to the edge and the areas of damaged cuticle where the ocher coloured flesh appears. Different from the white species of Russula (Russula delica), the stipe of the fleecky milk-cap is not sharp, it doesn’t embed soil so often, the cuticle is snow white, not ivory unless the alveoli and the wounds and, mostly, the gills segregate white latex like the other Lactarius. The cap surface is smooth and dry. The gills are white darkening over time. The flesh is hard and compact. The latex remains white for long when in contact with air.
The fleecky milk-cap is not edible because its taste is spicy. It should not be mistaken as one edible white Russula.
The fleecky milk-cap grows in summer end and in the beginning of autumn in oak and beech forests.
There is a pair of related to the fleecky milk-cap species: the milk-cap (L.piperatus) that has a longer stipe and not so hard flesh and the poplar milk-cap (L.controversus) that displays a salmon shade and grows in association with poplars in river forests. [photo Jordi Badia]