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Boletus edulus

Common name: King Bolete; Steinpilz; Porcini
Spore Print: Olive brown
Habitat: Found at higher elevations in the rocky mountains and seems to favor aspen, ponderosa pine, and lodgepole pine.
Edibility: The edible mushroom that everyone searchs for!
Comments: This mushroom can be identified by its large size, fat stem with a unique webbing pattern (notice the webbing pattern on the stem in the photo at the left), and it's reddish brown cap that may fade in the sun to a light brown or yellow brown. It's usually found in patches of the vegetation as seen in the photo on the right, a short small leaved ground cover. Many people know only one mushroom and this is it. If they don't find this mushroom on a foray then the whole trip was wasted! This mushroom is sold sliced and dried in most supermarket as 'Porcini' (pronounced 'Poor-Cheenee'). I've heard that the King Bolete is not as fragrant as the species found in Europe. The bugs like to eat this mushroom as well as we do and most that are found are riddled with fly larvae (maggots). The best stage to eat this mushroom is when the cap is still small and firm (the photo on the left shows the ideal stage for harvesting!). With age this mushroom gets really soft and spongy. It can grow to very large sizes, as large as a dinner plate! This mushroom is often confused with Leccinum species who's flesh stains black. It's also confused with Boletus barrowsii which is similar in every way except for a white cap and a stronger flavor and a flesh that is a little more dense. If you find a hillside of these you can quickly become overwhelmed with more mushrooms than you know what to do with!

Click on 'My Species List' above for more detailed descriptions of individual mushrooms!

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Page Posted on August 18, 2006
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Mushroom Identification