Painted Suillus

(Suillus spraguei)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Painted Suillus


not listed


not listed




Summer and fall


Mixed and coniferous forests. Eastern white pine



    Photo by April Carroll


This is a common “Slippery Jack mushroom”. It is found from summer to early fall in mixed and coniferous forests in northeastern United States and adjacent Canadian provinces west to Minnesota. It grows on the ground, alone or in groups, under eastern white pine. It obtains its nutrients from the rootlets of trees (mycorrhizal).

The cap is convex at first with the margin rolled under. As it matures the cap flattens out. The mature cap is 1¼ to 4¾ wide and broadly convex, flat, or slightly depressed in the middle. Unlike other Slippery Jack mushrooms (genus Suillus), the cap is dry, not slimy. It is densely covered by large, pink to brick-red scales. The scales are composed of matted hair-like fibers (fibrils). They readily wash away in the rain revealing a dull yellow background. There are sometimes remnants of the protective pore covering (partial veil) hanging from the margin. As the cap ages the background color fades to tan or whitish and the scales fade to reddish-brown.

The stalk is firm, solid, firm, and dry. It is 1¼ to 4¾ long and to 1 thick, usually the same thickness at the top and bottom, sometimes wider at the bottom. The remains of the partial veil forms a whitish or gray, cottony ring around the stalk. The stalk is yellow with reddish scales above the ring. Below the ring it is pale yellow or grayish and is streaked with red or reddish-brown fibrils. It does not have glandular dots or smears, and does not change color when bruised.

The flesh is thick and yellow. It often turns pinkish when bruised. It is edible but people disagree about whether it is worth it.

As with all boletes (Order Boletales) there are no gills. Instead, there is a sponge-like layer of tubes on the underside of the cap. The layer is covered with a whitish partial veil at first, but this tears away as the mushroom matures. The layer is broadly attached to the stem (adnate) or slightly continues down the stem (decurrent). The tubes are light yellow, to 5 16 deep, and have large, angular, 1 32 to 3 16 wide openings (pores). They are more or less radially arranged. They turn reddish or reddish brown with age or when bruised.

The spore print is brown.



Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 26, 29, 30, 77.


What’s in a Name?
The common name of the genus Suillus is “Slippery Jack”. This refers to the slimy cap, a characteristic shared by most mushrooms in the genus. The one outlier in Minnesota is Painted Suillus (Suillus spraguei).

This mushroom was originally named Boletus spraguei in 1872. The next year the name was changed to Boletus pictus. In 1898 in was transferred to the genus Suillus, and became Suillus pictus. In 1945, the original species epithet was restored and it became Suillus spraguei.



Basidiomycota (club fungi)



Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)



Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)






Boletales (boletes)








Boletinus pictus

Boletus pictus

Boletus spraguei

Suillus pictus


Eastern Painted Suillus

Painted Slipperycap

Painted Suillus

Red and Yellow Suillus









A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.


Partial veil

A protective covering over the gills or pores of a developing mushroom. At maturity it disappears, collapses into a ring around the stem, or wears away into a cobwebby covering and ring zone.


Visitor Photos

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April Carroll

This mushroom is growing in the wetlands area of my property. I thought I had it identified as Dryad’s Saddle, but it is growing on the ground and not on a tree.

  Painted Suillus   Painted Suillus
  Painted Suillus   Painted Suillus
  Painted Suillus   Painted Suillus
  Painted Suillus    











Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  Bolete & Suillus Mushroom Identification with Adam Haritan
Learn Your Land

Published on Jul 25, 2016

Bolete and suillus mushrooms are sought out by many foragers throughout the summer months. In this video, I briefly discuss bolete mushroom identification while expanding upon two edible suillus species — the painted suillus (Suillus pictus) and the dotted stalk suillus (Suillus granulatus).

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  Painted Suillus
Mike's Nature Journal

Published on Jul 19, 2015

Also called Painted Bolete.

  Painted Suillus
Mark Robie

Published on Oct 7, 2013





Visitor Sightings

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April Carroll

Location: Ross Allen Lake, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin

This mushroom is growing in the wetlands area of my property. I thought I had it identified as Dryad’s Saddle, but it is growing on the ground and not on a tree.

I went out and pulled one up. I am pretty sure now it is some sort of bolete, possibly red-cracked bolete. The indentations in the caps may be related to the numerous chipmunks, red squirrels or slugs here.

Painted Suillus







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