King boletes, also known as penny buns, cep, or porcini, are a highly desirable type of edible mushroom that can be found growing wild in Oregon.
With their meaty texture and rich, nutty flavor, king boletes are treasured by mushroom hunters and gourmet chefs alike.
If you want to try your hand at foraging for these tasty fungi, here are some of the top places in Oregon to find king boletes.
The most common place to find king boletes is in wooded areas, especially under conifer trees like pine, spruce and fir.
The trees form a symbiotic relationship with the mushrooms, helping them grow. Look for king boletes at the edges of forests and woodlands, near trails and access roads.
Popular public lands for foraging include Mt. Hood National Forest, Willamette National Forest, Deschutes National Forest, and Siuslaw National Forest.
Be sure to check regulations before harvesting.
Another prime spot for king boletes is along the Oregon coast. The coastal climate of mild temperatures and moisture helps the mushrooms thrive.
Forage in areas with shore pine trees, such as around Manzanita, Pacific City, and Florence.
State parks like Fort Stevens, Cape Lookout, and Harris Beach offer coastal forest habitat. Just be aware of tide times if foraging near the beach.
In the springtime, king boletes can be found at higher elevations across Oregon.
Look for the boletes growing under ponderosa pine, white fir, and Douglas fir trees at elevations above 3,000 feet.
Areas to search include the foothills of the Cascades, Siskiyou Mountains, and Blue Mountains.
Be sure to check conditions before heading out, as spring weather can be unpredictable in the mountains.
Forest fires create favorable conditions for king boletes to grow in the years after a burn.
Search for the mushrooms in and around burned areas, especially spots that were low intensity ground fire.
Recent burn sites to look for king boletes include areas around Mt. Jefferson, McKenzie Pass, and Three Sisters.
Always use caution in burned regions since deadfall and erosion can make travel hazardous.
Keep an eye out for king boletes in urban parks and wooded areas, alongside trails and greenspaces. The mushrooms associate with ornamental trees in landscaping, such as pine and spruce.
Portland parks like Forest Park, Oaks Bottom, and Mt. Tabor offer potential.
The grounds of university campuses, like University of Oregon and Oregon State, can also produce king boletes.
Tips for Identification
When foraging, be 100% certain of mushroom identification before collecting. Always confirm the cap, pores, stem and other features match a king bolete.
Lookalikes like the toxic ruby bolete can cause illness. Consider taking a mushroom foraging course to sharpen your ID skills before heading out.
While king boletes like to hide, they can be found in the right habitats across Oregon with some detective work.
Arm yourself with knowledge, be sure of identification, and harvest responsibly.
With luck and persistence, you may just stumble upon a bounty of these woodland delicacies.
[Related Post: 9 Common Mushrooms In Oregon]