Indigo Milk Mushroom, Lactarius indigo
Russulaceae or Russula Family

In habitat

A large, up to 6-inch, mushroom. Cap flat to vase-shaped, whitish, stained with periwinkle blue, often in rings. Stalk relatively thick and short, stained with blue. Gills bluish, crowded, attached to the stalk, and sometimes running a little ways down the stalk. Flesh bleeds a deep indigo liquid when cut or injured, as in the bottom photograph.


From side

Mycorrhizal with pines and oaks, providing the trees with minerals taken from the soil, in exchange for sugars. Rarely seen in Wildwood, but may be more common than thought. The color scheme makes this mushroom unmistakeable.

If in doubt, cut it -- the blue blood is unique. (However, as it is known from many different habitats from the Appalachians to Costa Rica, some suspect it will be divided into multiple speces.)

  Blue blood  

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