Boletales: Bolete Mushrooms
|West Coast Bolete Mushrooms
Types of Mushrooms
Boletes, the common name for mushrooms in the Boletales order, cover an array of families and species.
Depending on whether physical, chemical and/or DNA properties serve as the organizing tool, Boletales classification changes. For present purposes, the term bolete is used rather loosely to refer to mushrooms with pores rather than gills under the cap. The listed gill bolete is the exception to the rule.
Most mushroom enthusiasts think Family Boletaceae when they think Boletales, with the Boletus genus receiving considerable culinary attention.
While many boletus species such as Boletus Edulis (Porcini or King Bolete) receive notice for their edibility, it would be a gastric mistake to assume the edibility of all boletes or boletus species.
With well over one hundred native North American bolete species, field identification can be difficult. Pileus (cap and hymenium), stipe size and color, along with other traits such as spore color and flesh bruisability serve as common field identification tools.
Three identification examples of boletes in three non-boletus genera start the identification discussion.
With a cap size often no larger than a dime or quarter, the Peppery Bolete (Chalciporus piperatus) grows world wide, in fog drenched conifer forests.
While an edibility caution often gets linked to the Peppery Bolete, its nickname, peppery, comes from its reputed taste.
The top picture highlights the orange (to brown) Hymenophore. The bottom picture highlights the duller cap and stipe.
Mushrooms in the genus Leccinum normally get identified by the presence of scabers on the stem, as highlighted by the mushroom in picture three.
The black spots or marks on the stem readily identifies it as a leccinum species.
Lack of consensus on Leccinum edibility exists, with many of the brown cap species, the birch bolete, for example, considered edible. Leccinum species with caps of other colors often get labeled as suspect.
Known for their colorful caps and stipes, along with a reddish spore print, Tylopilus species grow heartily in eastern North America.
Tylopilus porphyrosporus, a less common Pacific Northwest species, stands out for its chocolate cap, stipe and pores.
Many wildlife biologists became aware of its presence by documenting its existence on northern spotted owl territory.
It grows in associated with a handful of pines.
Suillus, a large group of pored mushrooms, often are called by their nickname slippery jacks.
North American hosts approximately one hundred sullius species, which often grow in association with conifers. The wet cap, larger than average pores and dots on the stipe (stem) serve as good field identification clues.
The five species presented here highlight some inherent suillus identification problems.
First up, Suillus caerulescens, a western species often associated with Douglas fir, stand out as larger than average suillus.
The tan cap can grow up to six inches in length and the yellow pores bruise tan.
Stipes often show more yellow at the top, turning brownish toward the bottom.
From a top down view, the mushroom in picture two could be any one of your basic brown mushrooms.
Turning the mushroom over and seeing the pores makes it potential any of your basic brown suillus species.
Suillus Granulatus often gets described as having glandular dots at the top of a ringless stipe.
Taken together, pictures two and three show a mushroom that generally fit those descriptions.
It grows in association with a variety of pine trees and fruits during the fall.
Suillus grevillei, picture four, one of the handful of mushrooms that grow in association with larch, grows in most of the larch and mixed forests of the northern hemisphere.
The yellow ring around the cap, which is often viscid or wet, provides the best field identification clues.
Turning the mushroom over and flipping off a portion of the cap highlights the yellow on the stipe and the flesh.
Picture five shows Suillus Lakei, an unusual suillus species in the fact that the cap is a dry reddish color.
One of a couple of Suillus species that grow in association with Douglas Fir trees, they can pop up in bunches during the fall.
The final picture highlights the yellow stipe covered with pronounced, brown glandular dots, common field identification clues for Suillus Tomentosus.
The cap can be yellow to tan colored, darkening with age and often covered in scales.
Suillus Tomentosus are a Western species that grow in association with a handful of pine trees and fruit during the fall.
The majority of Boletaceae species grow in the Midwest and East. The listed species represent a small sample of West Coast species, including Suillus species.
The information presented should be used for comparative purposes only. No one guide, or picture, adequately serves as a basis for picking and consuming any wild mushroom.
For beginning mushroom enthusiasts, the best suggestion would be to refrain from eating any wild mushrooms. Take a picture, it will help you last longer.
© 2007-2014 Patricia A. Michaels