Slippery Jack (Suillus luteus)

Slippery Jacks (Suillus luteus)

A nice little Slippery.
A nice little Slippery.

Slippery Jacks (Suillus luteus) are one of the easier mushrooms in our local Pine forests to identify. They can be found mostly around the edge of the forest where they are usually found in association with Saffron Milk Caps (Lactarius deliciosus).

Slipperies are in the Bolete family and can be found with a related fungi called a ‘Weeping Bolete’ (Suillus granulatus). I’m not 100% sure I’ve found any of these yet so haven’t included them on this website. Those I’ve thought I’ve found usually turn out to be Slippery Jacks.

Side view of a nice specimen.
Side view of a nice specimen.
The underneath of the cap. You can see the annulus on the stem clearly.
The underneath of the cap. You can see the annulus on the stem clearly. as well as the characteristic sponge material.
A cross section of a Slippery Jack showing the solid stem.
A cross section of a Slippery Jack showing the solid stem.
A nice specimen.
A nice specimen.

Boletes have a feature that is distinct from other fungi. Instead of gills under the cap, they have a spongy material from which they produce their spores.

The pore material in close up.
The pore material in close up.
Spore print: Brown
Spore print: Brown

Slippery Jacks need to have the outer layer of the cap to be removed before cooking. Fortunately, this is easy to do as it comes away quite easily. Removing this and the spongy layer beneath the cap improves the taste of cooked Slipperies.

This is a species that tasted great when dried and powdered. If you’re drying them, you don’t need to remove anything, just slice thinly and dry by your favourite method.

Identifying Slippery Jacks –

If you’re under Pine trees and find something that you think could be a Slippery Jack, look for these details –

  • Brown to olive green cap from 5 cm to about 12 cm in diameter
  • The cap has a sticky surface, often with pine needles and stuff adhering to it
  • The outer layer of the cap is easily peeled off
  • Yellow/creamy spongy pore material underneath the cap rather than gills
  • Young specimens have a veil between cap and stem. This rips and remains on the stem as an annulus (sometimes it’s absent) as the mushroom matures
  • Thick, smooth stem. Stem is solid in cross section.
  • Spore print – Yellow/brown

If you find a mushroom under Pine trees that fits all of the above requirements, you’ve got yourself a Slippery Jack!

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