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Hemileccinum impolitum

Iodine Bolete


Uncommon, rare in the north.

Hemi meaning 'half' and leccinum from old Italian meaning 'mushroom'


5-15 cm



Meaning 'unfinished'



A large Bolete which even from a distance is quite distinctive. Usually found with Oak (Quercus) on compacted soil, so oaks growing in parks next to well worn paths is as likely place as any to encounter this species. The specimens photographed here were growing with an oak on a housing estate in north Wales. The brightly coloured pores and flesh that do not change colour when cut or damaged and the smell of Iodine in the base should all point to this species.


Strongly of iodine in the base of the stem, especially when cut.


A long fruiting time with records from June through to November, more typically late summer to autumn.

Habitat & Distribution

Grows with Oak (Quercus), very rarely with other tree species. Found mainly in southern England where it is Scarce, becoming Rare in the north and rest of the UK.


Considered edible but not at all tasty and considered by many to be too rare to justify collecting for the pot, there are far better edible alternatives in this family to bother with this species, for that reason we consider it it Inedible.

Confusion Species


10-16.5 x 4-6µ, subfusiform.

Spore Print Colour



The Rooting Bolete (Caloboletus radicans) is a similar size and shape and when dry the cap often goes a darker colour like the Iodine Bolete, but the Iodine Bolete lacks the hard 'wood' like base to the stem. The Iodine Bolete also does not change colour (some change can occur after almost a day) unlike other larger Boletes.

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