King Bolete: Boletus edulis


Boletus edulis is a gourmet, meaty, mild-tasting wild mushroom. The latin name edulis means edible which confirms that is a well-known species.

Boletus edulis is a basidiomycete fungus, and the type species of the genus Boletus. The fungus grows in deciduous and coniferous forests and tree plantations, forming symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations with living trees. It is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere across Europe, Asia, and North America, it does not occur naturally in the Southern Hemisphere, although it has been introduced to southern Africa, Australia, and NewZealand.

The fungus produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above ground in summer and autumn. The fruit body has a large brown cap and the stem (stipe) is broad and reticulated. The flesh is white (yellowing with age) and non-bruising.


The fungus produces fruit body from late summer to late autumn, from plain area to mountains in broadleaf forests especially: Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur, Q. petrea, Castanea sativa and Betula sp., also under conifers: Abies alba, Picea excelsa, Pseudotsuga sp., Pinus sylvestris, P. radiata, P. nigra. It is very common and widely distributed, mostly on acid soils.

It has a cap 5-30 cm in diameter, hemispherical, then convex sometimes even depressed. The color is more or less intense brown, reddish-fawn or greyish brown, sometimes even whitish often with paler margin delimited by a permanent whitish wire. The tubules are white then yellow and finally olive green, long and relatively fine, free or rounded to the stem, easily separable from cuticle. Pores are small, round, white, then yellow and finally grayish olive, typically greenish gray in the middle stage of development, immutable to the touch.

Species that are similar to B. edulis are: Boletus variipes – it has a dry, tan cap and grows with oak, and Tylopilus felleus is similar when young but tastes bitter.


In Croatia collecting, trade and management of fungi are regulated with „Pravilnik o zaštiti gljiva (Regulation on Fungi Protection)“ NN 34/2002. Boletus edulis is commercial type of fungi and can be collected for the purpose of processing, trade and other traffic. A single commercial mushroom collector for the purpose of processing, trade and other traffic may daily collect a maximum of 10 kg.


Croatian local names – jesenski vrganj, pravi vrganj, crnogorični vrganj, orvanj, gobanj, varganj, hrženjak, sirnjaja




Dino Buršić M.Sc.; Croatian Forest Research Instituted;