Described from a collection made at Stanford University, California, USA (Peck 1907).
Lactarius rufulus is a common milk cap in southern and central California, USA in oak woodlands.
Population is widespread, and no decline has been observed. We recommend it should be listed as Least Concern (LC).
Known from California, USA. From San Diego County north into Sonoma County in coastal and coast range oak woodlands, and around the southern and central portions of the Central Valley in similar habitat. Likely occurs in Baja California, Mexico too.
Lactarius rufulus is very common, occurring over a widespread area. A lot of habitat is around urban areas, even some subjected to development, but likely not at a scale to affect the population overall.
Population Trend: Stable
Ectomycorrhizal with oaks (Quercus spp.), especially Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia); more common in hotter, drier oak woodlands (southern California). Fruiting from fall into spring; depending on seasonal rainfall.
Urban development, but not at a scale to affect populations overall. Loss of oak woodlands.
No specific conservation actions is needed with regards to this species.
No specific research is currently needed in regards to this species.
This species is edible, and occasionally collected for food.
Arora, D. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA. 959 p
Hesler, L.R. and Smith, A.H. 1979. North American Species of Lactarius. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, MI. 841 p.
Peck, C.H. 1907. New species of fungi. Bull. Torrey bot. Club 34(7): 345-349.
Siegel, N. & Schwarz, C. 2016. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA. 601 p.
Wood, M.G. and Stevens, F.A. 2021. MykoWeb; California Fungi. http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF//species/Lactarius_rufulus.html