Black Milk (Lactarius necator) photo and description

Black lump (Lactarius necator)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Incertae sedis (undefined)
  • Order: Russulales
  • Family: Russulaceae (Russula)
  • Genus: Lactarius (Miller)
  • Species: Lactarius necator (Black lump)


  • Olive black lump
  • Nigella
  • Blackie
  • Black nest
  • Gypsy
  • Black spruce lump
  • Olive brown lump
  • Agaricus necator
  • Lactarius turpis
  • Agaricus plumbeus
  • Lactarius plumbeus

Black mushroom ( lat.Lactarius necator ) is a mushroom of the genus Millechnik (lat.Lactarius) of the russula family (lat.Russulaceae).


The hat is 7–20 cm, flat, depressed in the center, sometimes wide-funnel-shaped, with a felt edge rolled inward. Skin in wet weather slimy or sticky, with little or no concentric zones, dark olive color.

The flesh is dense, brittle, white, becoming gray on the cut. Milky juice is abundant, white, with a very pungent taste.

Leg 3-8 cm in height, ∅ 1.5-3 cm, narrowed downward, smooth, slimy, of the same color with the cap, sometimes lighter at the top, at first solid, then hollow, sometimes with depressions on the surface.

The plates are descending along the pedicle, fork-branched, frequent and thin.

Pale creamy spore powder.


The color of the black cap can vary from dark olive to yellowish brown to dark brown. The center of the cap may be darker than the edges.

Black lump (Lactarius necator)

Ecology and distribution

Black lump forms mycorrhiza with birch. It grows in mixed forests, birch forests, usually in large groups in moss, on litter, in grass, in bright places and along forest roads.

Season from mid-July to mid-October (massively from mid-August to late September).

Food quality

Conditionally edible mushroom, used, as a rule, salted or fresh in main courses. When salted, it acquires a purple-burgundy color. Before cooking, it requires a long processing to remove bitterness (boiling or soaking).