False Saffron Milkcap (Lactarius Deterrimus) – Foraging

False Saffron Milkcap / Summer / Autumn / Edible

The False Saffron Milkcap Mushroom is the one thing that is often confused with the Saffron Milkcap Mushroom, not to worry though, they’re both edible 🙂

Scientific Name

Lactarius Deterrimus




Found growing with coniferous trees, especially Spruces and Pines.


Lactarius deterrimus is a large milkcap with carrot-coloured gills and greenish tints as it matures. A distinctive feature is the latex (‘milk) exuded from cut or torn gills, which changes from carrot-orange to dark red as it dries.

Identifying Features for False Saffron Milkcap:


Orange with concentric darker or lighter lines with green patches. Starting convex but soon developing a depression in the middle and becoming ‘funnel’shaped.  

Holger Krisp, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Orange and smooth unlike the pitted stem of the Saffron Milkcap.

Exif JPEGTh. Kuhnigk, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons


Orange and slightly subdecurrent, fairly crowded and bruising green.

Subdecurrent gills

The milk is bright orange, turning to blood red after sometime then eventually turns green.

Abuluntu, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Mushroomy smell


Pale Yellow


Edibility of The False Saffron Milkcap

an excellent cooking mushroom. not as good as the true Saffron Milkcap but still an brilliant addition to dishes that require mushrooms. excellent in cream pasta sauces as it dyes the cream bright orange.


Found August to November in coniferous woodland.

Known hazards

Could be confused with the poisonous Woolly Milkcap.

Potential lookalikes

Could be confused with  the true  Saffron Milkcap   but the Saffron Milkcap has pits on the stem unlike the False Saffron Milkcap. Could also be confused with the poisonous Woolly Milkcap.

True Saffron Milkcap – Holger Krisp, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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