Public Description of Boletus edulis Bull.

Title: Public Description (Default)
Name: Boletus edulis Bull.
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 Public Description (Default) [Edit]
 Draft For 2008/2009 Eol University Species Pages Initiative By Lauren Z (Private)
 Draft For Macrofungi Of The Pacific Northwest By Chaelthomas (Private)

Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Boletaceae

General Description:

Boletus edulis (28)
Macroscopic characteristics Pileus can be nearly any shade of brown, starts convex and becomes nearly flat with maturity, and has a tackiness when it becomes wet. The cap can be between 8-30 cm. The pore surface is white when young and becomes olive-yellow with age. It does not bruise except in maturity when it may bruise olive. The pores are small and circular (2-3 per mm.) The stem is thick, usually club-shaped and can be bulbous but rarely equal. It can be 5-26 cm long, 2-8 cm thick with fine reticulations on the upper portion. The reticulations are white with pale brown. Annulus and partial veil are not present. The flesh is white and does not blue when bruised unlike some other boletes. KOH produces an orange or red reaction on the cap but has no reaction on the flesh. The spore print is olive brown.

Microscopic characteristics The spores are 13-19 × 4-7 µm, smooth elleptic and a pale yellow brown color.

The fruiting bodies can be solitary, scattered or in groups on the ground around conifers. They are found between June and October.Some common names are porcini, cep, and King Bolete.

Diagnostic Description:

Boletus chippewaensis looks similar to B. edulis but has a pale lemon yellow cap with bright red sometimes. The pore surface is a creamy lemon yellow. Boletus nobilissimus has reticulation down the whole length of the stem.

Boletus edulis is clearly a complex of species. More work needs to be done to distinguish the species. The name Boletus edulis gets applied very generally to the choice edible species of Boletus that do not stain, have white-yellow pores, and have a reticulum on the upper part of the stipe. The actual type for B. edulis comes from Europe and is assoicated with hardwoods.


It is found throughout North America. B. edulis was originally classified from Europe but that particular mushroom can be distinguished from the American variety by key macroscopic characteristics.


B. edulis is mycorrhizal with conifers. The originally classified B. edulis characterized from Europe is mycorrhizal with hardwoods.

Look Alikes:

B. chippewaensis and Tylopilus felleus look similar to B. edulis.

See also Tom Volk’s page on Boletus barrowsii, Chuck Barrows’ bolete

In the western US the name B. edulis has been applied to the separate species Boletus rex-veris which fruits in the spring in the Sierra Nevada and the coastal fall variety Boletus edulis var. grandedulis.


It is edible and particularly chosen for its delicious qualities.


Cep, porcini, king bolete

Current Name:
Boletus edulis Bull., Herb. Fr. 2: tab. 60 (1782) [1781-82]

Boletus betulicola (Vassilkov) Pilát & Dermek, Hriboviti Huby [Boletaceous Fungi] (Bratislava): 96 (1974)
Boletus edulis f. arcticus Vassilkov, Bekyi Grib: 16 (1966)
Boletus edulis f. betulicola (Vassilkov) Vassilkov, Bekyi Grib: 13 (1966)
Boletus edulis f. laevipes (Massee) Vassilkov, Bekyi Grib: 13 (1966)
Boletus edulis subsp. betulicola (Vassilkov) Hlaváček, Mykologický Sborník 71(1): 8 (1994)
Boletus edulis subsp. trisporus Watling, Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 33(2): 326 (1974)
Boletus edulis var. arcticus (Vassilkov) Hlaváček, Mykologický Sborník 71(1): 9 (1994)
Boletus edulis var. betulicola Vassilkov,: 46 (1948)
Boletus edulis var. laevipes Massee, Brit. Fung.-Fl. 1: 284 (1892)
Boletus solidus Sowerby, Col. fig. Engl. Fung. Mushr. (London) 3: pl. 419 (1809)
Dictyopus edulis (Bull.) Forq., (1890) 1889
Leccinum edule (Bull.) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 647 (1821)

Description authors: Tom Volk, Lauren Z (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Nathan Wilson, Johannes Harnisch, walt sturgeon, Richard Daniel