This page is used to feature mushrooms that are prevalent for the particular time of the year or, during
the winter months, to feature some of the less desirable or hard to find mushrooms.
To see some of our
previous stars follow this link to an index of previously featured
July's Mushroom of the Month
aurantiacum: Red-capped Bolete, Orange
cap, Red-capped Scaber Stalk
Two photos of Leccinum Aurantiacum
Orange caps are fairly large, good edibles that grow
mainly under aspens (poplars) and pines.
They are a fairly common mushroom in Michigan.
In Colorado there have been a number of
poisonings (severe gastro-intestinal symptoms) so care
must be taken when trying this mushroom for the first
are a number of look-alikes so possibly another species
of Leccinum is responsible for the poisonings.
Some friends of mine, a Colorado couple, found
that the husband could eat these while the wife became
violently ill perhaps indicating that the problems are
The orange-brown to reddish orange caps of Leccinum
aurantiacum range from 2 to 7 inches (5 to 17.5 cm.)
caps are convex when young to flat with age.
The circular pores are off-white when young
becoming brownish and bruising olive-brown.
The flesh is white, slowly staining pinkish to
burgundy then darkening to purple gray.
The stems are whitish at first then developing
short rigid brownish to blackish projections (scabers,
which are found on all Leccinum stems). The stems often
stain blue-green with bruising particularly at the base.
The stems range from 3 to 7 inches (7.5 to 17.5 cm.)
tall and ¾ to 1 ¼ inches (20 to 30 mm.) wide.
The spore print is a dark yellow brown.
While orange caps are good edibles, there are a lot of
The most common look-alike is Leccinum insigne
which has a reddish to orange brown cap with white to
yellow brown pores and dark scabers even when young.
Leccinum scabrum has a more brownish cap with a
rough stalk covered with dark brown to black scabers.
Leccinum atrostipitatum with a dull orange to tan or
brown cap, also has black scabers from the start.
Leccinum testaceoscabrum, known to cause
gastro-intestinal distress, has a bright to dull orange
cap with a rose tinge; the caps fade to pinkish tan. L.
testaceoscabrum has black scabers even in the button
stage and is rare in Michigan.
The orange caps are good edibles that I have used in
spaghetti sauce and for making risotto.