Last Updated - 7.24.2013
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
Photo of winecap Stropharia
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Aborted Armillaria
Armillaria abortivum
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Formerly
Aborted entoloma

Almost Bluing
King Boletus

Boletus subcaerulescens

Artist's Conk
Ganoderma applanatum

Bear's Head Tooth
Hericium americanum

Black Trumpets
Craterellus fallax

Blewits
Clitocybe nuda

Brick Caps / Brick Tops
Hypholoma sublateritium

Cauliflower Mushroom
Sparassis spathulata

Chicken of the Woods
Laetiporus sulphureus

Chaga
Inonotus obliquus

Comb Tooth
Hericium coralloides

Common Laccaria
Laccaria laccata

Corrugated Cap Milky
Lactarius corrugis

Giant Puffball
Langemannia gigantea

Golden Chanterelle
Cantharellus cibarius

Hedgehog Mushroom Big
Dentinum repandum

Hedgehog Little
Dentinum umbilicatum

Hen of the Woods
Grifola frondosa

Honey Mushrooms
Armilleria mellea

Horn of Plenty
Craterellus cornucopioides

Horse Mushroom
Agaricus arvensis

Hygrophorus Milky
Lactarius hygrophoroides

Lilac Bolete
Xanthoconium separans / Boletus separans

Lingzhi / Reishi
Ganoderma lucidum & G. tsugae

Lion's Mane / Old Man's Beard
Hericium erinaceus

Meadow Mushrooms / Pinkies
Agaricus compestris

Oyster Mushroom
Pleurotus ostreatus

Purple-gilled Laccaria
Laccaria ochropurpurea

Quilted Green Russula
Russula virescens

Red Chanterelle
Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Rooted Oudemansiella
Oudemansiella radicata

Shaggy Mane
Coprinus comatus

Smooth Chanterelle
Cantharellus lateritius

Tinder Fungus
Fomes fomentarius

Two-colored Bolete
Boletus bicolor

Voluminous-latex Milky
Lactarius volemus

Winter Chanterelle
Cantharellus tubaeformis
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RARE FINDS and/or QUESTIONABLE

The Prince ? or Almond Mushroom ?
Agaricus augustus or A. subrufescens
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Photo of Wild Food Foraging
Wild Food Foraging
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Lactarius volemus

Voluminous-latex Milky

For several years after I first started picking wild mushrooms 35 years ago I knew of Morels, Sheep's Head and Field Mushrooms, but only because a friend took me out with him when he went picking.
So my initial experience with looking 'in the woods' for mushrooms was a few times in the Spring and a few times in the Fall. Never in the Summer.
When I was a novice mushroom hunter back then I pretty much ignored other mushrooms I ran across.
As my interest in wild mushrooms started to grow a bit there was one year where I decided to look around in the woods in the Summer.
If you are like I was back then and you venture 'into the woods' in the Summer for the first time to actually seek mushrooms you will be as shocked as I was.
And I mean WOW was I shocked. I never realized there were so many varieties. So many colors. So many surprises under the cap. I recall the total surprise in finding a hedgehog back then with nothing but spines under the cap.

I also recall one of the first Lactarius mushrooms I plucked to check out. I don't recall the specific name of it but I do recall that when I broke off a piece of the mushroom's cap to check it's texture it had a lot of whitish liquid running from it. Wow I thought. What the heck?
Then a few days later I ran into some mushrooms under some Norway Spruce that had pores under the cap instead of gills. They were very firm. They looked like something I wanted to eat.
That early morning there was that aura in the woods - that mushroom smell mixed with pine - that had a bit of familiarity to it even though I had never picked them before nor been there.
A couple of times afterwards, in the same spruce woods, the memories started to flood back. I remembered then that back when I was 6 or 7 years old, in the early 50's, my grandfather had taken me out in the Black Forest to pick 'Steinpilze' ( King Bolete ). I was really hooked ever since.

So, what got me 'really hooked' into mushroom hunting was finding some latex bleeding mushrooms, spined hedgehogs and some King Boletes in the spruce woods.


The Lactarius group ( milkies ) has been a great discovery now for over 35 years. They are a great group to get to know because:
1. they taste very good.
2. they are reasonably easy to find.
3. often there is minimal larvae infestation.
Once their features are in your memory banks you will almost never come back home from a Summer / Fall foray empty handed.

Here in Southwest Pa. there is almost always some specimen that can be found from the the end of Spring to Fall.

This is another of the Lactarii that I identified early. Actually it's one of the three similar looking Lactarius mushrooms that I've enjoyed for years. I call them the 'Three Musketeers' because when you find one of these you usually find all three ( all for one, one for all ).
They are: Lactarius volemus, L. corrugis and L. hygrophoroides.


The cap is orange-brown. The center portion of the cap, which often is depressed like a funnel in maturity, is darker orange-brown. The cap is a bit wrinkled and the wrinkling can get pronounced when the mushroom gets older.
Photo of a Lactarius volemus - Voluminous-latex Milky

The edge of the cap is usually a hue or two darker orange-browm, like the cap center.
Another view of a Lactarius volemus - Voluminous-latex Milky
The stalk is colored like the cap, sometimes a shade or two lighter. Cap and stalk are dry. The cap has no concentric rings of color, that is, the cap is not zonate.

The gills are cream colored, close together and the gill attachment descend the stalk noticeably.
Photo of a Lactarius volemus - Voluminous-latex Milky
One nick with a knife or fingernail and the latex will run like blood from a wound.
It's latex is not acrid ( peppery hot ). The latex will turn slightly to a light cream color - NOT yellow.

The cut or injured areas of the gills will turn brown.
In the photo below the 'Three Musketeers' are showing their gills. On the left are 5 Hygrophorus Milkies. Note the gill spacing is wide and there is no brown staining such as what occurs with L. Corrugis ( middle 2 ) and L. volemus ( two on far right ).
Photo of the gills of three different Lactarii

Comparing general size patterns you will notice, after picking a few of the three types, that Lactarius volemus is bigger than L. Hygrophoroides and smaller than L. corrugis when age is similar.
L. Corrugis has a much darker, corrugated cap.

Photo of the caps of three different Lactarii
This is a good representation of size patterns and color hues of these three mushrooms.
The usual bigger of the three types will be the Corrugated Cap milky, which are the three on the right side of photo.


Spore print is whitish to cream to very pale yellow.
Photo of a Lactarius volemus spore printing - Voluminous-latex Milky
Don't be put off by the fish-like odor. It will disappear quickly enough when cooking and there will be no odor when ready to eat.

Indeed, the fish-like odor is another good identification feature when picking.

The taste is very good. Texture is similar to crispy hedgehogs or chanterelles, which is what I enjoy. They definitely are not limp or insipid.
Some people find the texture to be a bit granular.

Weather conditions: Best when weather has been damp. Found in deciduous woods from Summer to Fall.
They could be almost anywhere so keep your eyes open. I find them usually from late July, during the season that Chanterelles and Hedgehogs abound, through September, when I am searching for Sheep's Head.

Best Practice: Make sure there is latex running. Although Lactarii sometimes are apt not to have much latex due to weather conditions, it's best to just pass up any of these that don't have the latex. There's plenty of other good edible wild mushrooms to choose from so don't take any chances of possibly confusing some other similar looking mushroom with the Voluminous-latex Milky.
Also, pick only those that still have a firmness to them and which still have nice cream colored gills. The gills get dark cream colored in age.


Lactarius volemus - A/K/A - Voluminous-latex Milky
DATE - July through September.
Weather conditions: Best when weather has been damp. Found in deciduous woods from Summer to Fall.
FOUND -They could be almost anywhere where there are a lot of oak trees so keep your eyes open. I find them usually from late July, during the season that Chanterelles and Hedgehogs abound, through September, when I am searching for Sheep's Head.
Coincidentially, those areas where I seek Sheep's Head and Chanterelles are usually beech/oak mixed woods so I usually find these milkies during my forays.

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