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Red Cracking Bolete - Xerocomellus chrysenteron

Red Cracking Bolete - Xerocomellus chrysenteron

Main features

  • Fruits Summer to Autumn

  • Found individually or in small groups

  • Grows in association with Beech and conifers

  • Very mild smell

  • Cap surface starts of with velvety hairs and is almost black

  • As cap ages, the skin cracks to reveal reddish flesh beneath

  • Cap is a flat dome-shape and 3-10cm wide

  • The cylindrical stem is pale yellow with dotted red streaks or areas

  • Lemon yellow pore surface turn dirty yellow with age

  • Pores of older specimens bruise slowly blue-green

  • Stem height is 4-8cm and width 1-1.5cm

  • Has no stem ring/skirt 

  • Yellow flesh has a hardly noticeable change when bruised but may slightly blue

  • Spore print is olive brown

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Red Cracking Bolete - Xerocomellus chrysenteron

Edible mushroom - advanced

Other common names: Red Cracked Bolete, Red  Crack Bolete


Scientific name meaning: Xero is from the Greek Xer, meaning dry. Chrysenteron is from the Greek words Chrysos, meaning gold, and Enteron, meaning the bowels or innards

Season - when will I find it? From Summer to Autumn

Habitat - where will I find it? Underneath Beech or coniferous tress

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Red Cracking Bolete is mycorrhizal, growing in association with Beech and coniferous trees. It can be found individually or in small groups

Cap: Starting off dark born, almost black, it is domed and covered in fine velvety hairs. The cap cap reach 3-10cm. As it ages, the surface skin cracks and reddish flesh can be seen through the cracks

Pores: The pore surface and tubes are lemon yellow becoming dirty yellow with age. In older specimens the pore surface turns slowly blue-green when damaged

Flesh: Yellow, with hardly noticeable blue colour change when damaged

Stem: Around 4-8cm tall and 1-1.5cm wide, the yellow stem has redd dotted streaks or areas. It has no ring, or skirt

Smell: Mild

Spore colour: Olive brown

Possible lookalikes As this mushroom has red on it, it does not pass the novice test (red and blue) for boletes. It could be easily confused with the Suede Bolete (Xerocomus submentosus) or Blue Foot Bolete (Xerocomellus cisalpinus) but these are also edible, the latter with blue bruising when damaged

Use as a food Must be cooked but has a poor flavour and texture. Used mostly to bulk out a mushroom mix

Use in herbal medicine None known

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards None known

Importance to other species Slugs and snails often eat these mushrooms. They also provide a food sources for the larvae of many fly species

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

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