Leccinum versipelle

Leccinum versipelle, also known as Boletus testaceoscaber or the orange birch bolete, is a common edible mushroom (given the right preparation) in the genus Leccinum. It is found below birches from July through to November, and turns black when cooked.

Leccinum versipelle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Boletaceae
Genus: Leccinum
L. versipelle
Binomial name
Leccinum versipelle
(Fr. & Hök) Snell (1944)
  • Boletus versipellis Fr. & Hök (1835)


Orange birch bolete (Leccinum versipelle), New Jersey, USA.

The cap is broadly convex, bright red-brown or brick red. It is felty and grows up to 20 cm (8 in) in diameter. The flesh is white to pink, turning green-blue when cut, particularly in the stipe. The spores are brown. The stipe is firm, long and slender, white and covered with small black scales.


Leccinum versipelle is mildly toxic (causing nausea and vomiting) unless given proper heat treatment: frying or boiling for 15–20 minutes is considered necessary. As mentioned, the mushroom turns black when heated.

It is commonly harvested for food in Finland,[1] Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, and Russia.

See also

  • List of Leccinum species


  1. Ohenoja, Esteri; Koistinen, Riitta (1984). "Fruit body production of larger fungi in Finland. 2: Edible fungi in northern Finland 1976–1978". Annales Botanici Fennici. 21 (4): 357–66. JSTOR 23726151.
  • E. Garnweidner. Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and Europe. Collins. 1994.
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