Syn. Suillus pictus. The cap of the fruit body is 1.2 to 4.7 inches in diameter, and depending on its age, is either conic to convex, to somewhat flattened at maturity. The cap margin is initially rolled downward before straightening out, often with hanging remnants of partial veil. The cap surface is covered with densely matted filaments that are rough and scale-like. The scales are pink to brownish red, fading to a pale brown-gray or dull yellow in maturity. Under the scales, the cap surface is yellow to pale yellow-orange. While many other Suillus species have a sticky or slimy cap, S. spraguei is dry. The flesh is yellow. The stem is usually solid, rarely hollow. The tissue of all parts of the fruit body-cap, pores, and stem-will turn brownish shortly after being bruised or injured.
Suillus spraguei grows in a mycorrhizal association with several pine species, particularly eastern white pine, and the fruit bodies grow on the ground, appearing from early summer to autumn.