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bicolor boletes?

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Me and Tina found a ton of boletes yesterday. There were literally thousands. Most seemed to be bicolors and we took about twenty pounds home. It was an education in itself. To put it simply, many of the ones we took home were unusable and having my knife with me would have saved a lot of trouble. Now I know. I haven't got my spore print yet, but they were red to pink caps, same color stem turning yellow at the top, yellow pores staining blue and there was a little blue staining when cutting the flesh, but it faded eventually. There was one that stained all blue immediately I threw it out just in case it was one from the sensibilis species. By the time I cut the stems, sliced them and threw away the larger spongy ones we had about 3 to 4 pounds left. I kept the small buttons for cooking and plan to dry the rest. That is unless some one points out they were misidentified.

first find


blue staining


ten inch cap


cut section, you can see its mostly free of blue while the one stem has a little


I have a spore print in the making and have a general mushroom post for later.


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DaveW is the undisputed bicolor champ here and with some lucj he will weigh in. There has been a lot of discussion here and on the predecessor boards on this mushroom and you might be able to find some interesting threads with the search function.

on a side note... you are getting just altogether too much rain and soon folks like me who have been in a drought since april are gonna either start hating you or we are gonna drive down and start stealing your mushrooms!!!

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I'll see what I can do about the rain, but will settle for hate before shroomthievery.

I have already been through a bunch of net info on bicolors and there is a lot of conflicting info about the staining. One site actually says that there are b. sensibilis that have the same staining and bruising as the b. bicolor. The only solid info I can find is that the bicolors go back to yellow after sitting and the sensibilis stay blue. The bicolors should have the original colors after cooking too it seems. I hope Dave has some significant info on the topic that can help me decide on our eating of them.

btw: my spore print didn't take. I used a bigger spongy one this time.

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Boletus bicolor types exhibit various bluing/staining tendencies... only on the pores, on the pores and the cut flesh, only on the cut flesh, on the surface of the stem... Sometimes the bluing on the stem can be quick and dark, sometimes not at all. The bruising on the pores can also be fast and fairly dark. But the cut flesh should NOT stain quickly and intensely blue.

Theer are a host of different red and yellow Boletus species. This group is actually not very well understood by mycologists. In fact, there's a species on record that looks just like B. bicolor, and which has made some people sick. This species, B. bicoloroides, has not been recorded from very many different locations. I believe it has been documented in Michigan, and maybe a few other locations near th Great Lakes.

I occasionally eat B. bicolor. I use only insect-free specimens that show a lot of vivid red on both the cap and stem. The apex of the stem on B. bicolor is often yellow, and the bottom 2/3 or so red. As B. bicolor ages, its cap/stem colors often fade.

B. sensibilis and B. pseudosensibilis have cap colors that are not as vividly red as prime-stage B. bicolor. B. miniato-olivaceus (poisonous) sometimes has a vividly red cap and some red on the stem. The red on the stem of this species usually appears as a pruinose/punctate coating. The flesh of B. miniato-olivaceus sometimes blues rather slowly. The pores bruise blue and then the bruise changes to brown. B. pallidoroseus is another red and yellow bolete that turns blue either quickly or slowly when injured. It smells like beef bouillon.

There are others that I have either not found, or have found but have been unable to ID to species.

B. bicolor has a very shallow tube layer.

This must sound like Boletus bicolor is virtually impossible to ID. But after having seen many of them, one developes a tendency to recognize the imposters.

Here's a couple photos of a B. miniato-olivaceus that has a vivid red cap but almost no red on the stem. I have seen many with mostly red stems.



Here's a few photos of B. bicolor. The one specimen shows a lot of bruising/staining.




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For the most part they all looked the same and smaller pores and tiny holes were something that stuck out. There was the occasional anomaly though. I believe all of the ones I kept for possible eating and drying were similar and anything different was left behind. Maybe its best if I just throw the lot out.

these were the average with yellow apexes and shallow pores.


Here is a good look at what we brought home, I was afraid to maybe leave any good mushrooms behind


This guy had an all yellow stem


These just did not look right. You can see the difference in the pores clearly


I found this in my pictures, did we possibly miss a king


Thanks for the info Dave. It seems as if we found many bicolors, but I am afraid there may be some others mixxed in. Not a problem to fish through them and make sure the pores are small and shallow I guess. I am not sure what to do at this point.

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Whoa!! That last photo, DS... the one for which you wonder "Is it a King?" This one looks like Boletus huronensis.


B. huronensis is perhaps the most dangerous of all North American boletes. Bad cases of poisoning have been reported. It is a stainer. But it is apparently mistaken for the King on the basis of its size and shape. I have never found it. Reportedly uncommon.

The two boletes with the curved stalks, which you believe to be other than B. bicolor... I agree. They are different. The one with the completely yellow stalk. Good idea to not eat that one.

Assuming that B. bicoloroides does not occur where you hunt for mushrooms, then I think you can learn to ID bicolor. Learning what is probably not bicolor is a good goal to pursue. As for the bicoloroides thing... Honest'y, I don't know what to say about this. I had been eating B. bicolor for 25 years before I heard of bicoloroides. And it has not been reported here in NE PA. Still, most of the collections of boletes that I make for eating are the large non-staining types... edulis, separans, nobilis, variipes. I just feel better about these types. But when I find some young perfect bugless bicolors, depending upon what I feel like cooking up at home, I may take some. It is a tasty mushroom. I don't dehydrate bicolor anymore. I have spots where --during a summer/fall when the weather is wetter than currently-- I can often get 5 or 10 pounds of X. separans in one session. Also, I've got some good edulis spots (mainly lawns under planted Norway Spruce). So at any given time, I've got plenty of dried "whites", as the Russians call them.

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