Recognizing mushrooms is not that easy. If a yellow mushroom with a sponge sprout in the forest or even in your own garden, the choice is not that big.

identifying features

Mushrooms are not just mushrooms. If you take a closer look at the specimen, there are many different distinguishing features. These include, among other things, the structure of the fruiting body and the exact coloring. It is also important where the fungus grows. In the case of a yellow fungus with a sponge, the following types are relatively common:

Mushrooms with stem and cap

Among the many mushrooms that consist of a stalk and a cap, there are some species that do not have lamellae on the underside of the cap, but rather a so-called sponge. Fungi with tubular spore carriers belong to the tubular fungi. Many of these boletus mushrooms live in communities with different tree species. Among them there are popular edible mushrooms such as ceps and red caps.

Steinpilzarten (Boletus)

Porcini mushrooms can be recognized by their relatively large fruiting bodies with thick stalks and fine-flaky sponge. Their distinctive hat color includes many different shades of brown, but there are also a few yellow varieties. All porcini mushroom species are edible. Although the risk of confusion within the species is quite high, it is not dangerous. The following species are the most common in our forests and gardens:

Birkensteinpilz (Boletus betulicola)

Although most porcini mushrooms have a brown cap, some specimens also form yellow-colored fruiting bodies, depending on their age and location. This also includes the birch bolete.

  • Synonym: Boletus edulis forma betulicola
  • Risk of confusion with: yellow-spotted porcini, common porcini, gall boletus, oak porcini, yellow porcini
  • Cap: 5 to 20 cm in diameter, mostly light brown to dirty yellow
  • Flesh color: white
  • Stem: light brown
  • tubes: initially whitish, later yellow
  • Occurrence: Deciduous forests with birches
  • edible (mild mushroom taste)

Gelbfleckiger Steinpilz (Boletus fulvomaculatus)

The yellow-spotted porcini does not occur everywhere in Germany, but it can occasionally be found in mixed forests.

  • Risk of confusion: common porcini, yellow porcini, gall boletus, birch porcini
  • Cap: diameter 5 to 20 cm, light ocher brown to yolk yellow
  • Flesh color: white
  • Stem: light beige with white netting
  • Tubes: initially white, later strong yellow
  • edible
Note: If the sponge of the porcini mushroom is yellow or white, this indicates a very mild taste.

Lubricant boletes (Suillus)

The second big family among the boletes are the smear boletes. They are considered popular edible mushrooms. As saplings get older, their skin appears slimier. Most species live in symbiosis with certain tree species.

Ringed stone pine boletus (Suillus americanus or sibiricus)

The ringed stone pine boletus can be found in stone pine areas at altitudes of 1700 to 2300 metres. With us it occurs mainly in the Alps. The yellow fungus often grows in avenues or along forest paths in the tall grass.

  • other names: Helvetian grain boletus, Swiss grain boletus
  • Likelihood of confusion: yellow hollow foot boletus
  • Odour: neutral
  • Cap: 3 to 8 cm, yellow-brown, flat round
  • Flesh: light yellow
  • Tubes: yellow (reddish brown when printed)
  • Stem: yellowish, intense sulfur yellow at the tip
  • edible (mild, slightly bitter taste)

Gelber Hohlfußröhrling (Suillus cavipes var. aerial)

The fruiting bodies of the yellow hollow-foot boletus appear from July. Recognizing and determining it does not normally require great specialist knowledge. Its stems are actually hollow (especially in older specimens).

  • other names: yellow hollow foot
  • Risk of confusion with: gold boletus, cow boletus
  • Odour: spicy, mushroomy
  • Cap: 3 to 8 cm, canary yellow, tomentose
  • Flesh color: light yellow
  • tubes: yellowish, honeycombed
  • Stem: yellow-scaled
  • Occurrence: on acidic soil under larches
  • edible (in rare cases gastrointestinal disorders may occur)

Golden Orchid (Suillus grevillei)

The gold boletus is very common in Germany and Europe. When using the golden boletus as an edible mushroom, you should remove the cap skin, as it becomes slimy when wet.

  • other names: golden yellow larch boletus, gold cap
  • Danger of confusion with: yellow hollow-foot bolete, false sulfur bolete, sand bolete
  • Odour: pleasantly mushroomy
  • Cap: 3 to 12 cm, greasy, light yellow to orange
  • Stem: yellow, greasy
  • Flesh color: lemon yellow
  • tubes: yellow, later brown-yellow
  • Edible (slightly musty taste)

Kuh-Röhrling (Suillus bovinus)

The cow boletus, also called cow mushroom, occurs in places in masses under pines and spruces. However, it is clearly recognizable when frying, as it turns purple when heated in the pan.

  • Cap: yellowish-brown to ocher, 3 to 10 cm in size
  • Stem: light brown, often curved
  • Flesh color: light yellow to yellow
  • Tubes: grey-yellow, red-brown in older specimens
  • edible (usually mild, sometimes slightly bitter)

Sand-Röhrling (Suillus variegatus)

Actually, the sand boletus would be better off with the felt boletus than with the smear boletus. Because except after very long rains, nothing about this fungus is greasy. Due to its skin structure, the yellow fungus therefore occupies a certain special position.

  • other names: millet mushroom, velvet boletus
  • Risk of confusion with: goat’s lip, softwood boletus, cow boletus
  • Odour: strong mushroomy, slightly pungent
  • Cap: 4 to 12 cm, yellow to ocher
  • Stem: yellowish, bluing when cut
  • Flesh: yellowish
  • Tubes: brownish to rusty yellow
  • Occurrence: on acidic soils, forms a symbiosis with pines
  • edible (pleasant mushroom aroma, one of the best edible mushrooms)

Roughfoot or boletus species (Leccinum and Leccinellum)

There are also yellow-colored species among the boletus.

Birch red cap (Leccinum testaceoscabrum)

The pretty looking mushroom with the dark yellow cap is usually scattered in heathland and on lake shores. When young, this skin protrudes a few millimeters from the brim of the hat, so it is easy to spot at this stage.

  • other names: heather cap, red cap, aspen mushroom, hard rough-footed, sponge agaric
  • Risk of confusion: other red caps such as the Espen red cap
  • Odour: pleasantly mushroomy
  • Cap: 4 to 12 cm, orange-yellow, sometimes light ocher
  • Flesh: white, slightly bluish when cut
  • Tubes: initially pure white, later grey, very spongy
  • Stem: white with grey-brown scales
  • Occurrence: Birch symbiotic fungus
  • Edible (boiled, steamed or fried)

Yellow-eared Stingray (Leccinellum crocipodium)

Mushrooms from the genus Leccinellum have a yellow pigment on all parts of the fruit body, but this is usually only weakly pronounced. Nevertheless, it can appear temporarily in individual parts of the fungus. This fungus prefers warm oak-hornbeam forests with heavy clay soils.

  • other names: Blackening Roughfoot, Yellow-porous Roughfoot
  • Risk of confusion with: birch mushroom, hornbeam boletus
  • Odour: neutral
  • Cap: 3 to 9 cm, ocher brown to yellow (very small compared to the stem)
  • Stem: light yellow to creamy white, scaly, base thickened
  • Tubes: yellow
  • edible (mild taste)
Tip: The mushroom is easy to recognize because its flesh first turns reddish and later blackish after it has been cut.

Other boletus

Yellow witch bolete (Sutorius junquilleus)

If you find a completely light yellow mushroom with a felty cap in deciduous and mixed forests between July and November, it is probably the yellow boletus. Although the mushroom is edible, it has now become quite rare.

  • Synonym: Boletus pseudosulphureus
  • other names: false sulphurous boletus, daffodil boletus, yellow witch
  • Risk of confusion: cornflower boletus
  • Odour: neutral
  • Cap: 4 to 12 cm, sulphur-yellow, brownish when old, matt, finely felted
  • Stem: light yellow to lemon yellow
  • Flesh: light to dark yellow, bluing when injured
  • tubes: bright yellow, dirty brown-yellow with age
  • Occurrence: in deciduous forests, like under beeches
  • edible (although non-toxic, the taste is disputed)

Goat’s lip (Xerocomus subtomentosus)

The goat’s lip has many different appearances and is therefore not easy to recognize for the layperson. In Germany, the yellow fungus with sponge is quite widespread, although it is somewhat more common in the south.

  • Synonym: Boletus subtomentosus
  • other names: goose mouth, light-stemmed felt boletus, moss head
  • Risk of confusion: golden bolete, cow bolete, pine bolete, velvety felt bolete, sand bolete, red-footed bolete or parasitic bolete
  • Cap: 4 to 10 cm in diameter, shades of yellow and brown
  • Stem: almost white, slightly flecked with brown
  • Flesh color: light yellow
  • Tubes: bright yellow, older specimens are yellow-green
  • Occurrence: Mixed forests
  • edible

Yellow Tree Mushrooms

Fungi also grow on trees, mostly spreading on dead wood. These types of mushrooms usually do not have a stalk, but look more like a sponge overall. Yellow tree fungi can be of the following species:

Gelbe Lohblüte (Sooty Septic)

The yellow tan flower, also called witch’s butter, is one of the widespread slime molds with a spongy appearance. The fungi colonize decaying material such as tree trunks or bark on the forest floor. Only rarely do the fruiting bodies form on living wood. Even if the yellow tan flower looks a bit bizarre, it is not poisonous. In Mexico it is considered a delicacy fried or grilled.

  • Diameter: 2 to 20 cm (often in groups)
  • Height: up to 3 cm
  • pillow-like, like construction foam
  • Color: bright yellow (rarely cream)
  • often grows on bark mulch in the garden
  • edible

Safrangelber Weichporling (Aurantiporus croceus)

A variety of yellow polypores grow on diseased or dead trees. However, most of them are multi-hatted and look like many fans stacked on top of each other. A spongy polypore is the saffron-yellow soft polypore with console-shaped growth.

  • other names: saffron yellow sap polypore
  • Risk of confusion: with other yellow tree polypores
  • Odour: neutral
  • Diameter: 5 to 20 cm
  • Height: up to 6 cm
  • flattened above, pilose
  • Color variants: saffron yellow to bright orange
  • inedible

coral fungi

Coral fungi are similar to sea corals with their highly branched fruiting bodies. Hence her name. Some of them look like a yellow sponge when they are young or older. Yellow coral is one of the edible coral fungi. However, since this is very difficult to distinguish from the poisonous relatives, the yellowing coral and the pale coral, inexperienced mushroom pickers are strongly advised not to eat it.

frequently asked Questions

Unfortunately, there is no general criterion for distinguishing between edible mushrooms and toadstools. Among the mushrooms with a sponge, the boletus, there are no deadly poisonous species, at most some species, especially boletes, are poisonous when raw. Always roast or boil the yellow boletus before eating.

Any identification of fungi begins with the question: tubes or lamellae? Turn the mushroom over so you can see under the hat. The carrier layer for the spores is arranged vertically as fine tubes. You can see countless tiny holes like on the surface of a sponge. This sponge can be easily detached from the hat of boletuses and usually feels felty.

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