Red-Capped Scaber Stalk Mushroom… (Also known as Leccinum aurantiacum)

“Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it’s the real thing until it’s too late”
All mushrooms are edible. Some – only once, but this is not the case :).

Took me a while to find the right english name for this mushroom online. Unfortunately the dictionary didn’t give any options, but the all powerful google helped.

I’ve been browsing through my Dad’s photos last weekend and came across the photo that definitely wanted to post and praise this forest treat a little. So please meet Mr. Red-Capped Scaber Stalk Mushroom:

It’s been on the favorite menu in our family as long as I can remember and has remained the status to date. When the time comes for them to show up in the forrest, it’s already like a tradition – my Mom is the first one to go out and find it and then we follow.

In our kitchen at home this mushroom is dried, boiled and then cooked or cooked fresh, basicly – used in any shape and form, valued as highly as porcini/boletus. Often, when fresh out of the forest, cooked very simply – in butter with a bit of garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. Heavenly!

Let’s go a bit “scientific” – as long as it can be refered to as such in wikipedia:


The cap is orange-red and measures up to 8 in (20 cm) across. 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 4-7 in (10-18 cm) tall and to a ¾-1¼ in (2-3 cm) thick and can bruise blue-green. It is whitish, with short, rigid projections or scabers that turn to brown to black with age.
[edit]Distribution and habitat

Leccinum 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, Leccinum aurantiacum has been traditionally known to be associated with poplars (Populus). There exists some debate about the classification of L. aurantiacum and L. quercinum as separate species. According to authors who do not recognise the distinction, L. aurantiacum is also found with oak (Quercus). Additionally, L. aurantiacum has been recorded with various other deciduous trees includingbeech (Fagus), birch (Betula), chestnut (Castanea), willow (Salix), and Tilia.[1] L. aurantiacum is not known to associate with conifers in Europe.

North American populations have been recorded in coniferous as well as deciduous forests, though it remains uncertain whether collections from coniferous forests are not L. vulpinum instead. 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.[2]

This is a favorite species for eating and can be prepared as other edible boletes. Its flesh turns very dark on cooking. Like most members of the Boletaceae, these mushrooms are popular with maggots. See reference below. Due to a number of poisonings and the difficulty identifying species, Leccinum may not be considered safe to eat. This species also needs to be cooked well (not parboiled) or else it may cause vomiting or other negative effects. It is commonly believed that this species can cause problems with digestion if not cooked properly. Portable kitchens and other simple solutions are therefore not recommended for cooking.

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