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Boletus edulis is an edible fungus in genus Boletus of the family Boletaceae. It is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, across Europe, Asia and North America, and does not occur naturally in Southern Hemisphere. Boletus eduis is commonly known as porcini and cep.
Boletus edulis grows in deciduous and coniferous forests and tree plantations, forming symbiotic ectomycorrhizal with living trees. It develops sheaths of fungal tissue around the tree's underground roots. In summer and autumn, the fungus produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above the ground. The fruit body consists of a large and imposing brown cap which can grow up to 35 cm in diameter and weight 3 kilograms. It has tube extending downward from the underside of the cap. At maturity, spores are released through the tube opening or pores. The pore surface of the fungus is whitish when young, and greenish-yellow when aged. The stem is yellowish in color, and can grow to 25 cm tall and 10 cm thick, and partially covered with a raised network pattern (reticulations).
Boletus edulis is renowned for its delicious flavor. It is an ingredient in various foods, and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto. It is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. It is often dried, packaged, and distributed worldwide. It is available fresh in central, southern, and northern Europe during autumn. Boletus edulis is one of the few fungi that is sold pickled.
The fruit bodies of B. edulis can be infected by the parasitic mould-like fungus Hypomyces chrysospermus, , known as the bolete eater. The parasite manifests itself as a white, yellow, or reddish-brown cottony layer over the surface of the mushroom.
B. edulis is used as a food source for several species of mushroonm flies, as well as other insects and larvae. It is also food source for animals, such as the banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus), the long-haired grass Mouse and the Red Squirrel.