Cep or Penny Bun

Boletus edulis

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

  • About

Cep or Penny Bun Boletus edulis Bull. (illustrated 40% life size) Cap 8–25cm; brown, often with whitish bloom at first, gradually lost on expanding to leave a white line at the margin; smooth and dry initially, becoming greasy, in wet weather slightly viscid, later polished. Stem 30–230×30–80mm, usually swollen towards the base; pallid, with white network or reticulum more noticeable towards the stem apex; robust. Flesh white, unchanging, flushed dirty straw-colour or vinaceous in cap; taste and smell pleasant. Tubes white, becoming grey-yellow. Pores small and round; white at first, discolouring yellow then greenish-yellow with age. Spores 14–17×4.5–5.5¼, subfusiform. Spore print olivaceous walnut-brown. Habitat in coniferous, broad-leaved, or mixed woodland; summer to late autumn. Common. Edible excellent. Note this is perhaps the most important edible mushroom because of its excellent flavour, large weight and size, and the way it keeps its flavour when dried. Young, fresh specimens are lovely raw in salads, more mature specimens should be cooked. The pores and tubes should be discarded before cooking if they have discoloured. Boletus edulis can often be found on sale in markets, and commercially it is available dried.