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Deceiver - Laccaria laccata

Deceiver - Laccaria laccata

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Found in large groups in leaf litter

  • Grows underneath deciduous and coniferous trees

  • Smells mild

  • Cap starts of orange-brown to red-brown and are darker when wet, lighter when dry

  • Cap starts off dome-shaped and flattens, sometimes with waves and a central depression

  • Cap 2-10cm wide

  • Fibrous, twisted and often hollow tan/orange-brown stem

  • Base of stem has lots of hairy mycelium threads

  • Has no stem ring/skirt 

  • Flesh is tan/orange-brown

  • Widely spaced, thick gills interspersed with shorter gills from the cap edge

  • Spore print is white

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Deceiver - Laccaria laccata

Edible mushroom - intermediate/advanced

Other common names: The Deceiver, Waxy Laccaria


Scientific name meaning: Laccaria and Laccata come from the French Lacca, meaning varnish. 

Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn

Habitat - where will I find it? Under deciduous and coniferous trees in leaf litter

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Deceiver is a mycorrhizal mushroom growing with deciduous and coniferous trees. It is particularly found with Pine and Beech. It is most often found in large numbers

Cap: The caps are 2-7cm wide and start off convex. They flatten somewhat with age and often have waves, sometimes they have a central depression. The caps are orange-brown to red-red-brown and appear darker when wet, paler when dry

Gills: Tan to dark beige when young, paling to buff with age. They are thick, widely spaced and interspersed with short gills from the cap's outer edge. They gills are adnate (broadly attached to the stem) to slightly decurrent (running down the stem)

Flesh: Tan to orange-brown

Stem: Fibrous and often twisted and hollow, the tan/orange-brown stem is often airy towards its base. It is usually 0.5-1cm wide, but can reach 5 to 10cm in height. Has no skirt or ring

Smell: Mild

Spore colour: White

Possible lookalikes Could be confused with with lots of small brown mushrooms, thus being an advanced mushroom. Careful attention needs to be paid to gill spacing and stem shape in order to eliminate other species. Can easily be confused with other Deceiver mushrooms, all of which are edible

Use as a food Must be cooked and can be used exactly as a cultivated mushroom. It has a rich meaty flavour

Use in medicine Has been shown to inhibit the growth of some sarcoma and carcinomas under laboratory conditions

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards None known

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species. Worth remembering when harvesting. Younger specimens tend to have less livestock inside!

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

Deceiver - Laccaria laccata - gills
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