Lactarius maculatus is a medium to large violet-gray mushroom that is initially convex and depressed at the disc, but becomes subinfundibuliform (sub-vase-shaped) with age. It is smooth and viscid in the center, faintly zoned and stained and it stains concentrically especially toward the slightly fibrillose, dry outer margin. The gills are close, narrow, occasionally forked and cream-colored and discolor yellow. Latex is creamy-white and stains the gills purplish. The stipe is concolorous with the cap, smooth, dry and has scscrobiculations. It is mycorrhizal with hardwoods, especially beech, oak and hickory. It fruits in summer.