Habitat: Occurs with conifers.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Edibility: Commonly collected for food.
king bolete, penny bun, cep, porcini, steinpilz
Commonly collected for food.
Boletus edulis and its close relatives, such as B. aereus and B. pinophilus, have firm whitish tubes and pores, often stuffed with white mycelium at first, that become yellow to olive and soft-gelatinous with age. The stipe is reticulate at least at the apex, typically fleshy and club-shaped, whitish at the apex and some shade of brown below. The flesh is white, unchanging or discoloring to reddish brown in some species. The cap surface is moist to viscid, may become uneven in age, and the color, depending on species ranges almost whitish to various shades of brown to reddish brown, often with a paler edge. B. aereus is the darkest species, with almost black caps at times, and often a whitish bloom over the surface when young. More typical B. edulis is often crust brown, while the montane forms can be strongly reddish brown and when handled in large numbers can stain one’s fingers a similar color. Although most of our edulis types occur with conifers, B. aereus is associated with oaks and madrone. Preliminary molecular studies of the western edulis group suggest that our mushrooms are different enough from their European counterparts that they should get new names of their own. However, until the necessary follow-up studies have been completed, there seems no harm in continuing to use the European names. As far as edibility goes, the precise name of an edulis-type is hardly important.