Monday, August 24, 2015

Mushroom Monday: Boletes

[PLEASE NOTE: Anything here I've attempted to identify is an educated guess but by no means fact. I'm no expert]

Bolete Mushrooms are the giants of the mycological realm, lurking in the damp woods but not at all hidden because they are, well, giant most of the time. It was Boletes that shocked me a few summers ago with their enormity - mushrooms bigger than dinner plates, some near a foot tall. I like to call the pale ones pancake mushrooms because they look and feel like pancakes to me. The great edible Porcini mushroom is a bolete but sadly doesn't grow in Missouri. 

This summer I have seen a great many boletes though not as giant as I have in the past. They are incredibly fun to spot - even a small bolete is a giant among the other modest mushrooms of the woods. Many are very dense and sturdy, too, which helps them last many days longer than other mushrooms. What makes a bolete unique, and a good way to identify a bolete, is it's underbelly: beneath that cap, where other mushrooms have gills, boletes have tiny tubes, or spores. These are so small that the underneath of boletes appears to be a sponge.

Pallid Bolete [?]

Pallid Bolete [?]
Pallid Bolete [?]
Bitter Bolete [?]

I believe this is a Frost's Bolete which bruises blue in mere seconds. This can be seen in the photo beneath.
Frost's Bolete (?) bruising blue
Pallid Bolete [?]
Pallid Bolete [?] Don't these look like pancakes?

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