Slippery Jack
(Suillus luteus)
Slippery

Slippery Jack

sculpture, acrylic paints

This mushroom is a member of the Suillus group, boletes with a slimy cap. This one's cap is dark reddish-brown to yellowish-brown, convex to flat, 2 to 4-3/4 inches across. The white flesh becomes yellowish.

Slippery Jack Cap

Slippery Jack Cap

This bolete exchanges nutrients with evergreens, so it comes up in late fall, when most other boletes are long gone, as the tree partners of those mushrooms are dormant.

The tubes, which attach to the stem, may be whitish, yellowish, or olive-yellow. Yellow pores become flecked with brown. The spore print is dull cinnamon.

The stalk is 1-1/4 to 3-1/4 inches long, 3/8 to 1 inch wide, with a membranous veil that covers the pores when the mushroom is very young and becomes a sleeve-like skirt around the stalk later.

Slippery Jack from below

Slippery Jack from below

Note the slimy, black ring encircling the stem, and how the large yellow pores are sunken where they attach to the pores.

This mushroom grows under pine and spruce trees in Eastern North America from early to late fall, one of the last choice mushrooms you can collect.
Slippery Jack Caps

Slippery Jack Caps

You can often find large quantities of slippery jacks under large stands of pine trees.

The first time I got to gather this mushroom in quantity occurred when some mushroom lovers and I drove to a seashore habitat that had lots of pine trees. We were so happy to bag so many mushrooms, we left one person behind when we left (he was one of those slim, quiet, unobtrusive people who easily escape notice, and the car was quite crowded!)

After we returned and rescued him from complete oblivion, I went home and sautéed the mushrooms. They became a slimy, tasteless mess.

Next I peeled away the slime layer (which gives some people diarrhea) and made a cream soup with more of the mushrooms, pureeing them in blender with the other cooked soup ingredients. They were superb, and that's how I now recommend preparing them and other Suillus species.