When: 2008-07-30

Collection location: Strouds Run State Park, Athens, Ohio, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dan Molter (shroomydan)

No specimen available

These white hot milkies were fruiting by the hundreds in the woods around Dow Lake yesterday. I made the mistake of rubbing my face to remove a spider web shortly after scraping one specimen’s gills to expose the latex.
I was explaining to a friend that the white milkies were hard to identify but that some of them were hot like chili peppers when my face started to burn. The experience was uniquely unpleasant. Fortunately there was a stream nearby and I washed my face, but the burning sensation persisted for about fifteen minutes. I imagine that if not for the washing, the experience would have been excruciating.

Some mushrooms really can hurt you just by touching them!

Note the forked gills- interesting.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

86% (1)
Recognized by sight
93% (3)
Recognized by sight
57% (1)
Based on chemical features: very hot!

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= Current consensus


Add Comment
old observation
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-07-05 13:52:56 CDT (-0400)

I found these mushrooms and posted the photos last year. The photos are of different mushrooms growing together in a single large patch that covered an entire hillside under pine. There were literally hundreds of them. They were large; six inches across on average. I do not recall any with velvety caps, but it is possible that the two species mentioned were growing together. The latex dries brown on both species, so that does not help much. At the time I thought they were all the same species.

As noted, they were so hot that they caused a very unpleasant burning sensation on my skin, which points to L. piperatus.

The caps of the mushrooms in the first photo were very dirty, so I chose a cleaner specimen for the cap shot. I have since learned no to mix specimens in a single observation.

more info
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2009-07-05 13:08:32 CDT (-0400)

on the differences between subvellereus and vellereus can be found in Smith & Hesler’s North American species of Lactarius (page 203)which in online at University of Michigan Herbarium Fungus Monographs

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-07-05 12:51:46 CDT (-0400)

I made the same reflection, the second picture looks like piperatus with the dense gills, but not the first one.

L. vellereus has a velvety cap surface, and bruises pale brownish.

By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2009-07-05 12:39:17 CDT (-0400)

is also said to stain or bruise brownish-ocher,

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2009-07-05 12:20:54 CDT (-0400)

Pic 1 looks like Lactarius subvellereus var. subdistans but Pics 2 & 3 look like Lactarius piperatus. Did you find them together? Did you observe any staining or changes to the color to the latex?

JH, I believe that Lactarius vellereus is a European species that discolors brownish, (correct me if I’m wrong)

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2009-07-05 12:13:47 CDT (-0400)
Any color change with KOH?
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2009-07-05 11:37:22 CDT (-0400)

what is the difference between Lactarius subvellereus and Lactarius vellereus ? Lactarius vellereus is not supposed to have any color change when KOH is applied,