Indigo Lactarius Mushroom 
Lactarius paradoxus
Russulaceae (Milk Mushroom) Family
 
To identify the Indigo Lactarius, look for a blue cap that is dry to the touch. It will often have dark blue ring strips (zones). The short stalk is blue. The cap is convex, funnel-shaped, ages to pale blue or gray and the flesh may stain green on exposure to air. The flesh is firm and colored blue or a faint green. The margins are enrolled, smooth, hairless, viscid. The gills extend a short distance down the stalk Spores occur in the summer and autumn. Its preferred habitat is moist environments under broad leaf trees. Found in abundance in the eastern United States, less in the southeast. Usually seen after heavy rainfall. The deep blue fruiting body and latex leaves no doubt about the identity of L. indigo. L. paradoxus, a close relative, has a grayish indigo cap, pale orange gills, and the flesh of its cap and stalk is bluish, and red latex when gills and stalk are cut.
 

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Photo courtesy Reid Walker, Crestview, Florida

 

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