Habitat: Coastal conifer forests
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Orange to brownish orange to reddish brown lactariuses are common in our coastal conifer forests. Certain species such as L. rufus are relatively easy to identify, but many others require careful observation of the latex, taste, and spore color, plus microscopic study of the cap structure and spore size and ornamentation. But, even after all that, sometimes the identity of your lactarius still is uncertain. L. subflammeus is a common, small- to medium-sized species with orange to reddish brown caps that are moist to subviscid and short striate on the margin. The gills are whitish to pale pinkish buff, sometimes tinted with the cap color, and the stipe is about the same color as the cap. The latex is milk-white and unchanging, and the taste is slightly acrid..Similar species with acrid taste are L. substriatus A. H. Smith and L. subviscidus Hesler & A. H. Smith, both of which have white latex that changes to yellow on exposure. L. luculentus var. laetus Hesler & A. H Smith has white unchanging latex and apparently a mild taste.