Orange Milkcap

Orange Milkcap is a delicious edible mushroom that you'll find in very large quantities on spruce plantations. Cut the cap open and look for the orange milk that flows from its flesh—then you'll be sure that you've got the right mushroom.

  • Where to Find It

    Orange milkcaps grow beneath spruce trees. You'll often find lots of them in the grass that lines forest paths on spruce plantations.

  • Coniferous forests.
  • When to Find It

    Orange milkcaps fruit in September and October.

  • Entire mushroom: September, October.
  • How to Spot It

    Orange milkcaps rarely grow more than seven cm tall, and their caps spread up to ten cm in diameter. Orange in color when young, they begin life with a depression in the center of their wavy cap that deepens with time until the mushrooms are funnel-shaped. Their color changes too, eventually taking on a verdigris hue. The closely packed gills, yellowish-orange when young, change to the same color. Pocked with small depressions, the stem is salmon pink or orange, and becomes hollow with age. In wet weather the cap becomes slightly sticky. When you cut into a false saffron milk cap, it releases an orange liquid.

  • How to Pick It

    Pick well-formed, dry, orange specimens. Carefully cut the mushroom at the foot and dust off most of the dirt with a brush. Milk caps are often attacked by fungus gnats, so check that the flesh is uniform by cutting into the mushroom.

Risk of misidentifying the plant

They can be confused with saffron milk caps, which are just as edible as false saffron. milk caps, but not as interesting to cook with.