Common Miller (Lactarius trivialis)Systematics:
- Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
- Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
- Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
- Subclass: Incertae sedis (undefined)
- Order: Russulales
- Family: Russulaceae (Russula)
- Genus: Lactarius (Miller)
- Species: Lactarius trivialis (Common Miller (Gladysh))
Quite large, 7-15 cm in diameter, in young mushrooms of a compact "wheel-like" shape, with strongly tucked, non-pubescent edges and a depression in the center; then it gradually opens, going through all the stages, up to the funnel-shaped. The color is changeable, from brown (in young mushrooms) or lead-gray to light gray, almost lilac, or even lilac. Concentric circles are weak, mainly at an early stage of development; the surface is smooth, in wet weather it easily becomes slimy, sticky. The flesh of the cap is yellowish, thick, brittle; milky juice is white, acrid, not very plentiful, slightly green in the air. The smell is practically absent.
Pale cream, slightly descending, rather frequent; with age, they can become covered with yellowish spots from leaked milky juice.
Cylindrical, of very different heights, depending on the growing conditions (from 5 to 15 cm, if only, as they say, “to the ground”), 1-3 cm thick, similar in color to a hat, but lighter. Already in young mushrooms, a characteristic cavity is formed in the stem, quite neat, which only expands as it grows.
The common miller occurs from mid-July to the end of September in forests of various types, forming mycorrhiza, apparently with birch, spruce or pine; prefers wet, mossy places where it can appear in significant quantities.
Despite the richness of the color range, the common milky mushroom is quite recognizable: the growing conditions do not allow it to be confused with the silver gray (Lactarius flexuosus), and the large size, color invariability (slightly green milky juice does not count) and the absence of a strong odor distinguish Lactarius trivialis from many small milkmen, lilac and exuding unexpected aromas.
Among the northerners it is considered a very decent edible mushroom, in our country it is somehow less known, albeit in vain: it ferments in salted faster than its "hard-flesh" relatives, very soon acquiring that indescribable sour taste for which people deify Russian salting.
Lactarius trivialis is an absolutely extraordinary mushroom for me. Where I got acquainted with mushrooms, he was not. And where I went from time to time, he was not there either. Only occasionally, little by little, did the common milkman appear to me in mosses, in swamps with crooked pine trees, in feeble birch forests and in grassy glades. Once I took half a basket of it, took it and salted it. It seems that the rumor is not lying: the mushroom is really excellent. I really look forward to renewing my acquaintance already next year, so I don't write here everything that I know and think. There will still be a reason.