Leccinum aurantiacum
In a Luxembourg wood
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Boletaceae
Genus: Leccinum
L. aurantiacum
Binomial name
Leccinum aurantiacum
  • Boletus aurantiacus
  • Krombholzia aurantiaca
  • Leccinum aurantiacum
  • Leccinum decipiens (Singer) Pilát & Dermek, 1974
  • Leccinum quercinum (Pilát) E.E. Green & Watling, 1969
Leccinum aurantiacum
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Pores on hymenium
Cap is convex
Hymenium is adnate
Stipe is bare
Spore print is olive
Ecology is mycorrhizal
Edibility is edible but not recommended

Leccinum aurantiacum is a species of fungus in the genus Leccinum found in forests of Eurasia and North America. It has a large, characteristically red-capped fruiting body. In North America, it is sometimes referred to by the common name red-capped scaber stalk. Some uncertainties exist regarding the taxonomic classification of this species in Europe and North America. It is considered edible, but must be cooked thoroughly.


The cap is orange-red and measures 5–15 centimetres (2–6 inches) across.[1] Its flesh is white, bruising at first burgundy, then grayish or purple-black. The underside of the cap has very small, whitish pores that bruise olive-brown. The stem measures 8–16 cm (3–6+12 in) tall and 2–3 cm (341+14 in) thick[1] and can bruise blue-green. It is whitish, with short, rigid projections or scabers that turn to brown to black with age.

Distribution and habitat

L. aurantiacum can be found fruiting during summer and autumn in forests throughout Europe and North America. The association between fungus and host tree is mycorrhizal. In Europe, it has traditionally been associated with poplar trees. L. aurantiacum is found among oak and various other deciduous trees, including beech, birch, chestnut, willow, and trees of the genus Tilia.[2] L. aurantiacum is not known to associate with conifers in Europe.

North American populations have been recorded in coniferous and deciduous forests, though whether collections from coniferous forests are not L. vulpinum, instead, remains uncertain. In addition, L. aurantiacum may be absent altogether from North America, with collections from deciduous forests being attributed to other North American species L. insigne, and L. brunneum.[3]


This is a favorite species for eating[1] and can be prepared as other edible boletes. Its flesh turns very dark on cooking. Like most members of the Boletaceae, these mushrooms are targeted by maggots. Due to a number of poisonings and the difficulty identifying species, Leccinum species are considered by some as possibly not safe to eat. This species also needs to be cooked well (not parboiled) or else it may cause vomiting or other negative effects. Some report gastrointestinal upset after eating this species.[4] At least one death has been reported that was linked to consuming this species[5]

Similar species

See also: Leccinum vulpinum

In Europe, several orange-red capped species exist, which differ mainly in habitat. L. albostipitatum grows with aspen and has white scales on the stipe. In coniferous forests, L. vulpinum occurs around pine and spruce trees. Not all authors recognise these as distinct species.

In North America, L. insigne grows in aspen or birch stands, while L. atrostipitatum grows in birch stands. Both are edible. Another similar species is L. versipelle.[4]

See also


L. aurantiacum in Massachusetts, USA
  1. ^ a b c Phillips, Roger (2010). Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books. p. 279. ISBN 978-1-55407-651-2.
  2. ^ "The genus Leccinum in Western and Central Europe". Noordeloos M. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  3. ^ "Leccinum: Uncertain taxa". Kuo M. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Miller Jr., Orson K.; Miller, Hope H. (2006). North American Mushrooms: A Field Guide to Edible and Inedible Fungi. Guilford, CN: FalconGuide. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-7627-3109-1.
  5. ^ https://namyco.org/docs/NAMA_Toxicology_Committee_Report_2009.pdf