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.
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.
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!