Lactarius camphoratus

Lactarius camphoratus
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Group of Fungi: Agarics

Family: Russulaceae

Latin Name: Lactarius camphoratus (Bull.) Fr.

Common Name: Aromatic Milky

Description: Total height 1 1/4–2 1/2 in (3–6.5 cm); cap 3/4–1 5/8 in (2–4 cm) wide, convex at first but becoming flattened with a sunken center in age, burnt orange to burnt orange-red to orange-brown, darker at the center, upper surface smooth; gills close, pale pinkish cinnamon or wine-red at first but become rusty brown in age, usually extending a short distance down the stalk, exuding a milky fluid (latex) when cut or bruised; stalk 1–2 in (2.5–5.0 cm) long, 1/8–5/8 in (0.3–1.5 cm) in diameter, same color as the cap; spores white, cream or pale yellow in mass.

Biological Role: Forms mycorrhizal associations with forest trees.

Habitat: On the ground in broadleaf or mixed broadleaf conifer forests; solitary, scattered or occurring in small groups.

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout eastern North America.

Comments: Lactarius camphoratus has a fragrant odor that has been described as similar to that of maple syrup or burned sugar. This alone is usually enough to distinguish this species from several rather similar species of Lactarius that produce relatively small reddish brown to orange-brown fruiting bodies. Lactarius camphorates is edible but is more often used to add flavor to a particular dish rather than representing a major part of a meal.

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