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Lactarius quietus var. incanus

Common Name: Oak Milkcap

Synonyms:

Substrate: Ground

Location: Hardwood Forests

Spore Color: Pinkish buff

Gill Color: White to light pinkish cinnamon

Latex: White, unchanging

Comments: 

Another one of the fragrant Lactarius species. It has a fairly sweet smell. The cap is red-brown to dark red. Smith (1979) describes the gills color as "whitish then flushed "light pinkish cinnamon" and in age cinnamon with orange-cinnamon stains."

The latex starts off white and milky, but will become watery with age. It may taste slightly acrid. Cinnamon stains will tend to develop on the gills, but there should be no staining from the milk.  The stem will tend to darken from the base, upwards. 

Spore print should be pinkish-buff.

Lactarius mutabilis is exceedingly similar. For a descent field ID, if you find this mushroom in oak woods, call it L. quietus var incanus. If you find it in mixed woods, call it L. mutabilis.

Lookalikes: 

Fragrant Lookalikes: Lactarius mutabilis is nearly identical It should have a white to yellowish cream spore print, and is found in conifer and mixed woods. Lactarius camphoratus often has a small "nipple" in the center of the cap. Lactarius helvus (L. aquifluus) has a watery latex, a long stem and grows in conifer or mixed woods.

Non-fragrant Species: Lactarius frustratus and L. quietus var. quietus are nearly identical to this mushroom, but both have a milk that stains white paper yellow. L. quietus var. quietus  should have a milk that tastes acrid with time, the milk should not become watery with age, and it should not have the fragrant odor. 

Photos:

Lactarius mutabilis

Lactarius mutabilis

Lactarius mutabilis

10/3/12 - Griffey Woods - Bloomington, IN

Lactarius mutabilis

9/28/11 - Paynetown SRA - Monroe County, IN

Lactarius mutabilis

9/27/12 - Griffey Woods - Bloomington, IN

Lactarius quietus var. incanus

9/20/12 - Morgan Monroe State Forest - Morgan County, IN

Lactarius mutabilis

Lactarius mutabilis

9/19/12 - Griffey Woods - Bloomington, IN

Lactarius quietus var. incanus

Lactarius quietus var. incanus

9/15/12 - McCormicks Creek SP - Spencer, IN