Lactarius rubidus  (Hesler & A.H. Sm.) Methven (1998)                                   *Collections: Calfiornia

This diminutive milk cap is known as the "Candy Cap" in the local folklore due to its distinct odor of maple syrup. This mushroom has become a fetish for many collectors who can talk endlessly about their candy cap harvests. It's culinary utilization is fairly broad from main dishes to deserts. Its ecology seems to be quite broad too and probably includes both hardwoods and conifers. A somewhat similar, but larger species is "The Large Candy Cap" Lactarius rufulus. In Eastern North America ther eisa similar conifer associated species Lactarius camphoratus.

The milk is watery to whey colored.

This mushroom commands significant prices and yet is extremely abundant. What makes for that phenomenon is that collecting is a hard labor. One has to spend long time on all four in order to collect any amount that weights enough to sell..