Boletus edulis (“King Bolete”)

Buff stem w/white netting, usually getting more bulbous as you go down. White pores age yellow. Likes conifers.

SKU: Boletus edulis Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Genus: Boletus

Species: edulis

Common Name: “King Bolete”

  • Common Name 2: “Porcini”
  • Common Name 3: “Cepe”
  • Common Name 4: “Steinpilz”
  • Common Name 5: “The best damned eating mushroom in the world.”

Tells: Buff stem w/white netting, usually getting more bulbous as you go down. White pores age yellow. Likes conifers.

Other Information: Cap colors vary from tan through yellow shades, brown shades, and red shades. Can be HUGE, up to 15″” across. In Allegheny County, PA found only under spruce. Note: If you’re worried that you might have found a False King Bolete (B. huronensis), click here for a handy table of differences.

Edibility: Choice. To say the least.

Science Notes: This is the type specimen for the true “Boletus”; i.e., the arbitrary point in genetic space that everything else gets compared to. The farther away a mushroom is on the genetic family tree, the more likely it will be moved out of Boletus and into some other genera. On the East Coast, the “longer stem and yellower” version discussed in North American Boletes (clavipes) has been merged with regular edulis as a result of DNA tests, while separans has been moved out of Xanthoconium and back into Boletus because it’s genetically close. By contrast, many West Coast relatives have been severed off into separate but no less delicious species. These include B. edulis var. grandedulis (“California Kings”), B. rubriceps (“Rocky Mountain Reds”) and B. barrowsii (“White Kings”). So what about Europe? So far as I’ve been able to determine the European B. edulis and the East Coast B. edulis are still considered a single species that simply happens to occur on both sides of the Atlantic.


  • NH4OH (Ammonia): Cap surface turns orange.
  • KOH: Cap surface turns orange.
  • FeSO4 (Iron Salts): Cap surface slowly turns pale gray-green. Cap flesh turns gray-green.


National Audubon Society Field guide to Mushrooms, Gary Lincoff568Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians301North American Boletes108101


Got something to discuss?

2 years 11 months ago

What season do these grow?

Scott Pavelle
2 years 11 months ago

It depends on where you are. People also believe that what people call “edulis” actually includes many lookalikes that grow at different times. In Pittsburgh, e.g., we find one version in May (very early) and another in September/October (very late). Both grow under Norway Spruce. Is it a double fruiting or two parallel species? The DNA work has not been done to confirm it one way or another.