Finding porcini mushrooms: useful advice

Autumn is approaching, the best season to find mushrooms, especially porcini: in general you have to wait for a warm, humid climate and abundant rains. After about 10 days you will find mushrooms in the woods, especially under the leaves but also near the trees.

I can reveal a secret: It is important to look well in several places, especially close to the roots of big trees because the porcini can be perfectly camouflaged with the colors of the wood.

General information about porcini mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms are a large family of the Boletus genus, characterized by 12 different species. The most well-known is Boletus Edulis, the common porcino.

You will like this: there are some essential features to recognize this kind of mushroom. First of all, it is good idea to look at the cap: it has a cup shape, fleshy texture and the diameter ranges from 5 to 25 cm. The color can be both light and dark brown and the surface is damp and wrinkled.

Also consider that the stem has a variable length, big, full, and pale white color. The bottom of the cap or pores are white and then yellow. They typically break off very easily from the top.

Other species for harvesting are definitely the Porcino da Basso and the Porcino di Chastagno each with their peculiarities.


The harvest: advice

First of all it is important to know that porcini grow during three seasons. Between May and June, and if there were summer rains, you can see them in the woods at the end of August. In most cases however, many more specimens are found between September and October, and sometimes collection continues in November.

The essential tools to start harvesting are:

  • A mushroom manual
  • A wicker basket.

Do not take this the wrong way: you will need the manual in case you are not be able to recognize a certain species, it will be a good help but if you are not 100% sure about the species, do not pick it. Remember that some mushrooms are quite poisonous!

To venture into the search for mushrooms you need to go to places known and frequented by other enthusiasts. Also, it would be advisable to warn someone of the path that you have decided to follow, so that you can be found in case of problems like sudden storms.

This will please you: a little trick is never to move in a straight path, rather to find porcini mushrooms you should move in a zigzag. Another secret is also to start from below and then move upwards to see the mushrooms as you exit the path.

Rules to respect when picking mushrooms

If you really want to find porcini mushrooms it is important to observe some rules. First of all, it is not permitted to move the undergrowth using garden tools such as rakes: use a simple wooden stick, it will be easier and faster!

Another important rule to follow is not to pick poisonous or unhealthy mushrooms: every element in nature has its role and it is your duty to respect it. It is also important to transport the porcini in an open container so that the spores can fall to the ground and produce other mushrooms.


I will reveal a secret: if you find more porcini in certain a point, mark it on the map as it is very likely that the next year they will be there again. Do you want to know why? In fact, although not everyone knows this, most of the fungus is found underground: what is harvested is the reproductive, edible part. As a consequence, a bit like when  you pick a rose from the bush:  next year another will flourish.

To find mushrooms you should use a good hook knife, perfect to cut the stem from the base without causing any kind of damage, it is guaranteed! Now you know all you need to find porcini, you’re ready to start your picking, good luck!

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