Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Bolete collection from 2011 Devil's Hopyard Foray with CVMS

Before we joined the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society and became really involved, I will admit I was a little afraid of mushrooms. I believed the old wive's tales and was fearful of wildly dangerous toxins that I could contract just by touching a toadstool. My previous ideas and mental images of mushrooms were more cartoon-ish than realistic, like Smurf houses and furniture for fairies, and people who ate mushrooms were wild mountain men or just hippies looking for a bad trip. I thought all mushrooms had red caps with white spots and gills.

The first time I saw a bolete, I was amazed at the underside of the cap. It was covered not in gills, but tiny holes! When sliced in half, you could see that those holes were the ends of long tubes that were under the cap and tightly packed together. Then we saw different colored boletes, with different colored pores, with pores that oozed a yellow liquid, with irregular pores, with small pores and larger pores, and pores that changed color when scratched. Many boletes are classified in the Boletus genus, but others that are related are the Leccinums, Tylopilus, Gyroporus, and Suillus. Many of the boletes are also edible, the most commonly known is the Porcini (Boletus edulis). Robert has taken a special interest in boletes as edibles and subjects of photos. Here's a few favorite pics of some of the boletes we have encountered over the past year.

Suillus castanellus

Boletus onatipes, ornate stalked bolete

Boletus inedulis, NOT a porcini, it is very bitter
Xanthiconium seperans

Suillus pictus, painted bolete found under pines, edible
Boletus morrisii, beautiful red pores that fade to yellow

Tylopilus alboater, black velvet bolete, great edible

Boletus bicolor, excellent edible
Boletus sensibilis, pores stain dark blue quickly when scratched,
 and smell like curry powder
Strobilomyces floccopus, commonly called the Old Man of the Woods
due to its shaggy cap and stem, it stains red when cut

Boletus frostii, the red pores of fresh Frost's boletes exude
a honey colored liquid

Tylopilus plumbeoviolaceus, beautiful but too bitter to eat


Ellen Zachos said...

what fabulous images! Thank you.

wildcraft diva said...

Wow,the photos make me want to learn more too!!