Taxanomic name: Lactarius deliciosus
The genus name ‘Lactarius’ is named for the milky orange sap that they bleed or ‘lactate’ when cut. The species name ‘deliciosus’ very simply describes the taste – delicious!
Common name(s): Saffron milkcap or pine mushroom
Habitat/ecology: Mycorrhizal relationship with pine trees including Pinus radiata (radiata pine.)
Cap: Carrot-apricot orange in colour, although sometimes less vivid orange. Concentric rings on the surface of the caps.
Stem: Stems become hollow with age. White towards the centre, orange on the outer edges.
Gills: Orange. Bruise greenish blue colour.
Spore print: Pale buff/creamy white/pale pink
Uses: Like many edible mushrooms, saffron milkcaps have a beautiful flavour and texture when simply sauteed in butter and garlic. They make a great addition to pasta dishes & mushroom risotto, and freeze well after cooked. They also make a fantastic pickle.