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Orange Birch Bolete

Edible Edible
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

A tasty member of the greater Bolete family. This mushroom can sometimes also be known as the Boletus testaceoscaber or Boletus rufescens.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Orange Birch Bolete (EN), Cap Tyllog Melyngoch Bedw (CY), Koźlarz Pomarańczowożółty (PL), Kormostönkű Érdestinóru (HU)
Scientific Name Boletus / Leccinum versipelle
Synonyms Boletus versipellis, Boletus testaceoscaber, Boletus rufescens
Season Start Jul
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 20
Average Cap width (CM) 20
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


Starting ovate opening to broadly convex and staying like that until finally flattening out a bit with age, can be slightly downy. Orange to red orange/brown or even yellowish, this mushroom can vary greatly in cap colour and the versipelle used to be thought of as several different Leccinum species. The top edge of the cap overhangs the pores a little bit which can help with identification.


Pale yellow sponge-like pores, can be a bit grey/brown.


White to off-white mottled with small brown to black scales which give it a dirty appearance. The stem can be longer than the diameter of the cap.


White/pale grey turning dark blue/green in the stem to dark grey/black on cooking.


Growing under birch trees, especially on acid heathland and wood edges.

Possible Confusion

The Orange Bolete (Leccinum aurantiacum) looks almost identical and can grow with Birch but the two are edible if well cooked.

Spore Print

Brown. Subfusiform.

Taste / Smell

Good, similar to the Cep. Must be well cooked before consumption as it is mildly toxic, 15 to 20 minutes apparently destroys all the toxin.


Fairly common.


4 comments for Orange Birch Bolete

  1. GB says:

    The comment that this mushroom is toxic is simply not true, we have consumed a lot of these raw over the years. Not once has anyone ever been poisoned or anything like that. It would be interesting to see a link to a scientific paper confirming the toxicity of L.versipelle as well as other related fungi.

  2. rob gibbs says:

    I agree, have eaten them both cooked and raw for years and never had any issues.

  3. Will M says:

    I have just sliced and fried one for the first time but found it disappointingly tasteless, and rendered rather floppy in texture. Is this to be expected ? Best eaten raw maybe ?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      That’s a pity, I like the Orange Birch Bolete but for me, any mushroom fried in lots of butter tastes great. I don’t recommend eating wild mushrooms raw.

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