Bovine Bolete (Suillus Bovinus) Identification

Bovine Bolete / Summer / Autumn / Edible

Scientific Name

Suillus Bovinus


Common Names

Bovine Bolete, Jersey Cow fungus.


Family

Suillaceae


Habitat

Mycorrhizal with coniferous trees most often growing with Pine.


Description 

Part of the wider Boletales order the Suillus species are mostly associated with Pines and other coniferous trees. The Bovine Bolete is an easy to identify mushroom.


Identifying Features for the Bovine Bolete:

Cap:

Yellow/Orange to brown, the caps tend to get light in colour towards the edge. The caps are wet or slimy to touch. Convex when young but they can flatten out with age.

Rudolphous, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem:

More or less the same colour as the cap. Quite slender compared to other Boletes.

Len Worthington, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Gills:

Pores rather than gills, they are grey to yellow in colour. The tubes are angular.

Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Smell:

Mushroomy.


Spores:

Olive green/brown


Uses

In food

They are not that highly regarded as they tend to be full of water. They are best dried and rehydrated or used for stocks. You can remove the slimy skin and pores which improves the texture but that leaves very little to eat.

Alberto Vázquez, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons
Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Harvesting                       

They are often infected with maggots and bugs so I always apply the ‘finger test.’ Press down on the top of the cap, if the flesh bounces back into shape they tend to be OK, if they don’t bounce back into shape or your finger goes through the flesh, they’re best left for the beasties.


Known hazards

None Known.


Potential lookalikes

This is a really safe and easy mushroom for beginners, other Suillus species can look similar for example the Larch Bolete (Suillus Grevillei) but they are all edible.


Extra Notes

The origin of the common name apparently comes from medieval knights, they loved a mushroom called the Yellow Knight (Tricholoma Equestre) – the yellow knight is currently (2022) a bit up for debate on edibility –  which also grows with Pine and they ignored the Bovine Bolete as they considered them to only be fit for cattle drovers.

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