Saffron Milkcap Mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus) – Identification

Saffron Milkcap/Summer/Autumn/ Edible

The Saffron Milkcap mushroom is one of the most exciting wild mushrooms to forage, when damaged it produces a vibrant orange latex-like liquid and is a great edible.

Scientific Name

 Lactarius deliciosus




Grows underneath pine trees

Description of the Saffron Milkcap Mushroom

This is a choice edible mushroom, medium to large, orange and funnel-shaped, with brown concentric circles on the top if the cap with occasional green spotting. The stem is orange with darker orange spots or pitting. this mushroom-like the other milkcaps exudes a milky latex when cut or damaged. The milk of the Saffron Milkcap starts carrot orange and then turns swampy green.


Convex cap with a depression in the centre. Orange with darker concentric rings. Green areas especially on aging or bruising.

AfroBrazilian, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


Light orange with darker spots or shallow depressions . Sometimes theres green markings on there too.


Gills carrot coloured and eventually bruising green. Gills running slightly down the stem (Subdeccurent) and crowded.

Subdecurrent Gills


L.Payakoff, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


Slight Mushroomy smell


Pale yellow to orange


as an excellent addition to meals

Edibility of the Saffron Milkcap Mushroom

excellent taste and texture, it may also dye your food a nice orange colour


although generally uncommon in the south it is often found in pine woodland in the south. becoming more prevalent in the north. Avaliable from August to November

Strobilomyces, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Known hazards

none known

Potential lookalikes

Can be confused with the False Saffron Milkcap, The Woolly Milkcap is another that you could confuse this with but this has ‘woolly’ edges to the cap that extend in towards the stem and has off white milk, not Carrot coloured.

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More about the medicinal benefits of the Saffron Milkcap Mushroom

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