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Penny Bun

Edible Edible
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

One of the stars of the mushroom world. Easily recognisable among the edible species. Generally seen eight days after rain around late summer to the start of autumn.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Penny Bun, Cep, Porcini, King Bolete
Scientific Name Boletus edulis
Season Start Aug
Season End Oct
Average Mushroom height (CM) 25
Average Cap width (CM) 20
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


White when very young, maturing to look like a crusty brown roll, hence the name penny bun. The edge of the cap is often white. Bulbous while young with the underside flattening when mature, brown to reddish brown. Slug marks expose white flesh.


Has very small white pores which can yellow a bit with age.


Thick, bulbous and white ageing to slightly tan yellow. The stem has a fine net like covering just under the cap and sometimes extending all the way down the stem, solid when young, fresh or free from maggots.


White slightly yellowing with age.


Mixed woodland but found more with beech, oak or pine.

Possible Confusion

No poisonous mushrooms look similar, all the poisonous Boletus such as the Satans Boletus are either very red in the flesh or sponge, or stain blue immediately on cutting.
You could potentially confuse this mushroom with the Bitter Bolete, Tylopilus felleus which although not poisonous will ruin any meal you are unfortunate enough to add this mushroom to. A little nibble of the mushroom when raw will soon identify it with the Penny Bun being delicious and the Bitter Bolete being as bitter as sin! A better way to distinguish the two is that the Penny Bun has a lighter net like mesh on a slightly darker stem, the Bitter Bolete has a darker mesh on a lighter stem, pictured.
The Summer Bolete, Boletus reticulatus, looks very similar but has a slightly darker stem, not as solid flesh, lacks the white cap edge and grows in early Summer.

Spore Print

Green/brown. Subfusiform.

Taste / Smell

Excellent raw or fried in butter when fresh. Very mushroomy, one of the best species to dry where the mushroom flavour is enhanced.


Fairly common if you know where to look.

Other Facts

Penny buns produce more glutamates when dried so enhancing the flavour.
Tests on dried Penny Buns found that there were many different Boletes in a packet as they are hard to visually identify when dried.


6 comments for Penny Bun

  1. Peter says:

    Penny Bun: Can the stalk/stem be eaten too?

    1. Jon says:

      Definitely. It’s the best bit

  2. Debbie Gregory. says:

    Any chances of doing some courses further east, nearer Lincolnshire. Im sure there would be lots of interest if you did. Went on a Lincolnshire Wildlife forege today. Over 20 people attended, young and old. We have attended one of your courses at Bubenhall Wood. It was great and very informative. Some courses a bit closer to us would be very nice.

    1. Phil Leng says:

      Hi Debbie, glad you enjoyed your course with us in Bubbenhall Wood. We would like to run courses in the Nottingham area or east of Nottingham area which would be closer to you, however we are yet to find a suitable venue (good foraging, car parking, able to get permission). If you have any suggestions that would be great.

  3. Sonny Khan says:

    Can you still eat them when the pores yellow?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Up to a point, I hate to miss out on Penny Buns and will scrape off any yellow pores and check if the rest of the mushroom has a bad smell or it is full of maggots, if not it’s going in the pot.

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