Pepper mushroom (Chalciporus piperatus) photo and description

Pepper Mushroom (Chalciporus piperatus)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Boletales
  • Family: Boletaceae
  • Genus: Chalciporus (Halciporus)
  • Species: Chalciporus piperatus (Pepper Mushroom)
    Other names for the mushroom:
  • Pepper oil can
  • Pepper moss


  • Pepper oil can

  • Xerocomus piperatus

  • Pepper moss

  • Boletus piperatus

  • Suillus piperatus

Pepper mushroom

Pepper mushroom (Latin Chalciporus piperatus ) is a brown tubular mushroom from the Boletaceae family (Latin Boletaceae), in Russian-language literature it often refers to the genus Oily (Latin Suillus), and in modern English-speaking - to the genus Chalciporus.


Color from copper-red to dark rusty, rounded-convex shape, 2-6 cm in diameter. The surface is dry, slightly velvety. The pulp is sulfur-yellow, it turns red on the cut. The taste is quite spicy, peppery. The smell is weak.

Spore-bearing layer:

The tubules descending along the stem, the color of the cap or darker, with uneven wide pores, quickly turn dirty brown when touched.

Spore powder:



Length 4-8 cm, thickness 1-1.5 cm, cylindrical, solid, often curved, sometimes narrowed to the bottom, the same color with the cap, yellowish in the lower part. There is no ring.


Pepper mushroom is common in dry coniferous forests, is quite common, but usually not too abundant, from July to late autumn. It can also form mycorrhiza with deciduous species, for example, with young birches.

Similar species:

Chalciporus piperatus can be confused with various representatives of the genus Suillus (in other words, boletus). Pepper mushroom differs from butter, firstly, by its radical taste, secondly - by the red color of the spore-bearing layer (in buttermilk it is closer to yellow), thirdly - it never has a ring on the stem.


The mushroom is definitely not poisonous. Many sources report that Chalciporus piperatus is "inedible due to its pungent peppery taste." A rather controversial statement - unlike, say, the disgusting gall mushroom (Tylopilus felleus), the taste of the pepper mushroom can be called spicy, but pleasant. In addition, after prolonged culinary processing, the pungency disappears altogether.


For a long time, I collected and, accordingly, used pepper mushroom for its intended purpose, not really thinking about its edibility. Having learned that, according to our literature, this mushroom is “inedible because of its spicy peppery taste,” I decided, as they say, to put my fingers in my wounds - I scored this mushroom for a full-fledged roast, which was not so easy, since in my area it is found even often, but always a little, - fried and ate for natural research purposes. It must be admitted that some grain of truth is present in the assessments of our myco-culinary specialists. Yes, the mushroom is quite spicy, for an amateur. (True, I'm just an amateur.) But you can eat. And as part of the "mushroom platter" - and at all for a sweet soul.

Thus, we have an exception (which, by the amazingness of its existence, emphasizes the rule): our sources consider the mushroom inedible, and most Western sources strictly contradict them. Usually the opposite is true. "Rare case."