Lactarius maculatus is a medium to large violet-gray-brown 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 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 but paler, smooth, dry and has scrobiculations and hollows. It is mycorrhizal with hardwoods, especially beech, oak and hickory. It fruits in summer and autumn. Taste is mildly to strongly acrid. unknown edibility.