Boletus pinophilus Pilàt & Dermek - Pine Bolete

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Boletales - Family: Boletaceae

Boletus pinophilus

With its beautiful vinaceous or red-brown colouring, this close reative of the highly prized edible Boletus edulis - commonly referred to as Cep, Porcini or King Bolete - was for many years considered merely a variety ot colour form of the Cep.

Two Pine Boletes, Boletus pinophilus, Scotland


An uncommon find in pine plantations insouthern and central Britain, Boletus pinophilus is widespread and moderately common in the mature Scots Pine forests of Scotland. This bolete occurs also in many parts of mainland Europe including France and Italy; its range is thought to extend into western Asia.

Pine Bolete, England

Taxonomic history

This bolete was originally named and described in 1973 by Czech mycologist Albert Pilàt (1903-1974) and Slovak mycologist Aurel Dermek (1925-1989), who gave it the scientific name Boletus pinophilus, which remains its generally-accepted name.

Synonyms of Boletus pinophilus include Boletus aestivalis var. pinicola (Vittad.) Sacc., Boletus edulis var. pinicola Vittad., and Boletus pinicola (Vittad.) Rea.


The generic name Boletus comes ​​from the Greek bolos, meaning 'lump of clay', while the specific epithet pinophilus comes from Latin and means pine-loving - a reference to the association of this fungus species with pines (trees of the Pinus genus).

Identification guide

Cap of Boletus pinophylus


8 to 20cm across, initially hemispherical and eventually becoming almost flat; smooth or slightly bumpy; dry or slightly greasy, becoming viscid in wet weather; vinaceous to reddish brown. The cap flesh is white and unchanging, with a vinaceous tint below the cap cuticle.

Pores of Boletus pinophylus

Tubes and Pores

The adnate tubes and pores are initially whitish, yellowing at maturity. The pores are unchanging or turn only slightly blue-green when first bruised; the bruised areas gradually turn brown.

Stem surface of Boletus pinophilus


7 to 12cm tall and 5 to 10cm in diameter; surface light brown with an extensive fine white or pale brown reticulum; clavate or inflated (barrel-shaped). Stem flesh is whitish.



Fusiform, smooth, 13-18 x 4-5.5µm. (NB: significantly narrower than those of Boletus edulis.)

Spore print

Olive brown.


Odour pleasant; taste pleasant, mild.

Habitat & Ecological role

Mycorrhizal, found in conifer forests and plantations; in Britain, under Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris on acid soils


Summer and autumn.

Similar species

Boletus edulis has a pale stem with a white reticulum; its brown cap has a whitish marginal region.

Boletus aereus has a darker brown, more felty cap and very firm flesh.

Tylopilus felleus has a pinkish tinge to its pores; it has a very bitter taste.

Culinary Notes

This is widely regarded as a good edible species, although in most parts of Britain its uncommon to rare occurrence may not justify seeking it for cullinary use.

Reference Sources

British Boletes, with keys to species, Geoffrey Kibby (self published) 3rd Edition 2012

Roy Watling & Hills, A.E. 2005. Boletes and their allies (revised and enlarged edition), - in: Henderson, D.M., Orton, P.D. & Watling, R. [eds]. British Fungus Flora. Agarics and boleti. Vol. 1. Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi.


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by James Wainscoat.

Top of page...

Fascinated by Fungi, 2nd edn, hardback

Fascinated by Fungi. Back by popular demand, Pat O'Reilly's best-selling 450-page hardback book is available now. The latest second edition was republished with a sparkling new cover design in September 2022 by Coch-y-Bonddu Books. Full details and copies are available from the publisher's online bookshop...

© 1995 - 2024 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy