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King Boletes (Boletus edulis)

Boletes are a large and diverse genus. For the purpose of this page we will focus on the characteristics of the most common species, the King Bolete. Kings are the widest ranging, and the most popular of the boletes. Chances are, even if you have never ventured into the forest, you have probably eaten a bolete. used extensively in French, and Italian cooking, they are a large meaty mushroom with a nice mellow flavor.

Other Names:

Cepes, Steinpilz, Porcini, Stensopp, Borowik, Byelii-greeb

Range:

Family:

Boletaceae – Bolete family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

Looking somewhat like a hamburger bun on a thick stalk, this large reddish-brown capped mushroom has an underside of spongy white, yellowish, olive, orange, red, or brownish pores, rather than gills. This pore layer is easily pulled away from the cap. The cap size can be up to 10" wide. king boletes can also be up to 10" tall. Of the couple of hundred species of boletes, the King Bolete (Boletus edulis) is by far the most tasty.

Cap:

Large with a reddish-brown cap 3"-10" wide, convex, becoming nearly flat. In wet weather the cap is moist to sticky, but can be smooth to somewhat pitted, and sometimes cracking in dry weather; brown, reddish-brown or cinnamon-buff. Flesh white.

Stem:

4"-10" long and ¾"-1 5/8" thick and club shaped, or 1 5/8"-4" thick and bulbous.; whitish to brownish, white-webbed over upper 1/3; webbing below darker, often indistinct. Flesh white.

Tubes:

Sunken around stalk; whitish, becoming greenish-yellow. Pores small and round; white when young, sometimes bruising tawny.

Spores:

13-19 x 4-6.5 µ; smooth elliptical.

Spore Print:

Olive-brown

Height:

4"-10" tall.

Miscellaneous characteristics:

Text

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Description:

Cap: Large with a reddish-brown cap 3"-10" wide, convex, becoming nearly flat. In wet weather the cap is moist to sticky, but can be smooth to somewhat pitted, and sometimes cracking in dry weather; brown, reddish-brown or cinnamon-buff. Flesh white.

Tubes: sunken around stalk; whitish, becoming greenish-yellow. Pores small and round; white when young, sometimes bruising tawny.

Stalk: are 4"-10" long and ¾"-1 5/8" thick and club shaped, or 1 5/8"-4" thick and bulbous.; whitish to brownish, white-webbed over upper 1/3; webbing below darker, often indistinct. Flesh white.

Spores: 13-19 x 4-6.5 µ; smooth elliptical.

 

Season:

June - October

Habitat:

Typically found on the ground under pine, hemlock, birch, or aspen trees.

Parts Used:

Text

Cautions:

This mushroom has many varieties of different color, shape, size, and habitat, but all are good to eat. There are however, some species of boletes which may cause gastric upset to some, although the king bolete is not among these.

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

Raw, Sautéed, Stew and Soups

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

None Known

Medicinal Actions:

N/A

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield