This section is from the book "Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc.", by George Francis Atkinson. Also available from Amazon: Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc..
This plant was described by Dr. Peck in the 26th Report, N. Y. State Mus., p. 65, and in the 28th Kept. p. 129. According to the descriptions it differs from Lactarius fuliginosus only in the spores being white, the gills more distant, and the taste being constantly mild. Since the taste in L. fuliginosus is sometimes mild, or slowly acrid, and the lamellae in the older plants are more distant, the spores sometimes only tinged with yellow, there does not seem to be a very marked difference between the two species. In fact all three of these species, fuliginosus, lignyotus and gerardii, seem to be very closely related. Forms of fuliginosus approach lignyotus in color, and the pileus sometimes is rugose wrinkled, while in lignyotus pale forms occur, and the pileus is not always rugose wrinkled. The color of the bruised lamellae is the same in the two last species and sometimes the change in color is not marked.
Lactarius torminosus (Schaeff.) Fr. - This plant is widely distributed in Europe, Asia, as well as in America. It is easily recognized by the uneven mixture of pink and ochraceous colors, and the very hairy or tomentose margin of the cap. The plants are 5-10 cm. high, the cap about the same breadth, and the stem 1-2 cm. in thickness. It occurs in woods on the ground during late summer and autumn.
Lactarius torminosus. Cap ochraceous and pink hues, with zones of darker color, margin of cap wooly (natural size, often much larger). Copyright.
The pileus is convex, depressed in the center, and the margin strongly incurved when young, the abundant hairs on the margin forming an apparent veil at this time which covers up the gills. The upper surface of the pileus is smooth, or sometimes more or less covered with a tomentum similar to that on the margin. The color is an admixture of ochraceous and pink hues, sometimes with concentric zones of darker shades. The gills are crowded, narrow, whitish, with a tinge of yellowish flesh color. The stem is cylindrical, even, hollow, whitish.
The milk is white, unchangeable, acrid to the taste. Figure 121, left hand plants, is from plants (No. 3911, C. U. herbarium) collected in the Blue Ridge Mountains, N. C, in September, 1899, and the right hand plant (No. 2960, C. U. herbarium) collected at Ithaca, N. Y.
Lactarius piperatus. Entirely white, milk very peppery (natural size, often larger). Copyright.
Lactarius piperatus (Scop.) Fr. - This species is very hot and peppery to the taste, is of medium size, entirely white, depressed at the center, or funnel-shaped, with a short stem, and very narrow and crowded gills, and abundant white milk. The plants are 3-7 cm. high, the cap 8-12 cm. broad, and the stem 1-2 cm. in thickness. It grows in woods on the ground and is quite common, sometimes very common in late summer and autumn.
The pileus is fleshy, thick, firm, convex, umbilicate, and then depressed in the center, becoming finally more or less funnel-shaped by the elevation of the margin. It is white, smooth when young, in age sometimes becoming sordid and somewhat roughened. The gills are white, very narrow, very much crowded, and some of them forked, arcuate and then ascending because of the funnel-shaped pileus. The spores are smooth, oval, with a small point, 5-7 x 4-5 . The stem is equal or tapering below, short, solid.
The milk is white, unchangeable, very acrid to the taste and abundant. The plant is reported as edible. A closely related species is L. pergamemis (Swartz) Fr., which resembles it very closely, but has a longer, stuffed stem, and thinner, more pliant pileus, which is more frequently irregular and eccentric, and not at first umbilicate. Figure 122 is from plants (No. 3887, C. U. herbarium) collected at Blowing Rock, N. C, during September, 1899.
Lactarius resimus. Entire plant white, in age scales on cap dull ochraceous (natural size). Copyright.
Lactarius resimus Fr.? - This plant is very common in the woods bordering a sphagnum moor at Malloryville, N. Y., ten miles from Ithaca, during July to September. 1 have found it at this place every summer for the past three years. It occurs also in the woods of the damp ravines in the vicinity of Ithaca. It was also abundant in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, during September, 1899. The plants are large, the caps 10-15 cm. broad, the stem 5-8 cm. long, and 2-3 cm. in thickness.
The pileus is convex, umbilicate, then depressed and more or less funnel-shaped in age, white, in the center roughened with fibrous scales as the plant ages, the scales becoming quite stout in old plants. The scales are tinged with dull ochraceous or are light brownish in the older plants. The ochre colored scales are sometimes evident over the entire cap, even in young plants. In young plants the margin is strongly involute or inrolled, and a loose but thick veil of interwoven threads extends from the surface of the roll to the stem. This disappears as the margin of the cap unrolls with the expanding pileus. The margin of the pileus is often sterile, that is, it extends beyond the ends of the gills. The gills are white, stout, and broad, decurrent, some of them forked near the stem. When bruised, the gills after several hours become ochraceous brown. The spores are sub-globose, minutely spiny, 8-12 µ. The stem is solid, cylindrical, minutely tomentose, spongy within when old.
The taste is very acrid, and the white milk not changing to yellow. While the milk does not change to yellow, broken portions of the plant slowly change to flesh color, then ochraceous brown. Figures 123, 124 are from plants collected in one of the damp gorges near Ithaca, during September, 1896. The forked gills, the strongly inrolled margin of the cap and veil of the young plants are well shown in the illustration.