Boletus regius - kraljevka, kraljevski vrganj | ©Marjan Kustera  (Serbia)

Boletus regius (Boletaceae), commonly known as the Royal bolete or Red-capped butter bolete, is a large and impressive mushroom found in Britain and Europe, North America, and Australia.

When fully expanded, the caps of the Royal Bolete range from 5 to 20cm in diameter and the margin usually becomes wavy.


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The King Bolete: California’s porcini. Though this magnificent mushroom is regarded as common and widespread in Northern California, I have only happened upon them once. This beautiful specimen was found that day, and the pasta dinner that resulted was by the far the finest cookery ever to come from my kitchen. [Boletus edulis var. grandedulis]

King Bolete - Boletus pinophilus 

With a complex taxonomy, and sometimes considered a subspecies of Boletus edulis, Boletus pinophilus (Boletaceae) is a species of edible bolete known for its pleasant smell and taste. It forms mycorrhizal relationships with pines (Pinus), fir (Abies), and spruce (Picea), and can be found in coniferous or mixed forests in Europe an America.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: not indicated (2014)

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The Mysterious Nature of Fungi


Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation - Carnegie Mellon University

“This exhibit gives an overview of these mysterious organisms that are found almost everywhere on this planet and are the cause of both bliss and blight. Selections from the Hunt Institute Art and Library collections illustrate subjects such as misconceptions; characteristics that create delirium, disease or death; wild and cultivated edibles; intriguing structures that quickly morph, disintegrate or use propulsion to release spores; and beneficial and parasitic relationships with other living organisms. Whatever your interest, we hope that you will come away with a new fascination and respect for fungi.”

Illustration captions:

French and Italian Truffles [Tuber melanosporum Vittadini and Tuber magnatum picoVittadini, Tuberaceae], watercolor on paper by Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh (1941–), 2009, 33.5 × 39 cm, HI Art accession no. 7782

Boletus calopus Fr. [Boletus calopus Persoon, Boletaceae], watercolor on paper by Aurel Dermek (1925–1989), 1965, for Dermek and Albert Pilát, Poznávajme Huby (Bratislava, Slovenskej Akadémie Vied, 1974, pl. 58), 30 × 21 cm, HI Art accession no. 6084.02

[Pilobolus Tode, Pilobolaceae], watercolor on paper by Carmen Sylvia Zocchio-Fidalgo (1941–), 54.5 × 40.5 cm, HI Art accession no. 4830,

Reddish Brown Bitter Bolete - Tylopilus rubrobrunneus

This is a beautiful but very bitter tasting bolete, scientifically named Tylopilus rubrobrunneus (Boletaceae). It is found in North America, and is very common in some years, and seemingly absent in others.  

Tylopilus rubrobrunneus is one of the largest boletes in the genus, at times having a cap as wide as a dinner plate. 

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Nathan Crawford | Locality: not indicated (2010)

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Rhubarb Bolete - Boletellus obscurecoccineus 

The Rhubarb Bolete, Boletellus obscurecoccineus (Boletaceae), is distinguished by the brilliant red cap, bright yellow pores, and scales scattered on the stem. This brightly colored bolete was originally described from Indonesia, and later reported from east Asia, southeast Asia and Australia.  

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credits: [Top: ©Steve Axford | Locality: Balfour Track, NW Tasmania] - [Bottom: ©Zeng, N. K., & Yang, Z. L. | Locality: Hainan, China]

Orange Birch Bolete - Leccinum versipelle

Appearing only under birch trees in Europe and North America, Leccinum versipelle (Boletaceae) is commonly known as the Orange Birch Bolete. Although cap color is alluded to in the common names of several Leccinum species, with this group of boletes it is unwise to draw any conclusion from this very variable characteristic.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Lucky Logan | Locality: Santa Fe, New Mexico, US (2014)

Frost’s Bolete  (Apple Bolete)

Boletus frostii (Boletaceae) is an American bolete with blood red cap, with red pores, red, webbed stalk, and all parts bruise blue.

Although Frost’s bolete is actually an edible mushroom, it is not recommended because it could be confused with other, poisonous red-pored boletes. Remember the watchword: “Pores of red—may put you to bed!”.

This species occurs in eastern United States, south to Mexico and Costa Rica.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Nathan Crawford

Locality: unknown

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Bitter Beech Bolete  (Scarlet-stemmed bolete)

This Bitter Beech Bolete, Boletus calopus (Boletaceae), clearly shows one of the distinctive characteristic of the species: the deeper red stem covered in a pale yellowish net pattern, and the irregularly lobed cap.

The Bitter Beech Bolete is found in many parts of mainland Europe (including the British islands) and North America.

As its common name suggests, this bolete is not edible.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: Hubina, Trnavsky, Slovakia

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Earthball fungi  (Citrine earthball. Common earth ball, Pigskin poison puffball)

Scleroderma citrinum (Boletales - Sclerodermataceae), the Common Earthball, is similar in appearance to a warty potato. Acid soils, especially on the compacted paths in forests, are its main habitat.

The color of these probably poisonous fungi varies from light ochre to mid brown, but usually there is a lemon-yellow tinge, especially to the upper surface. For this reason another of its common names is Citrine Earthball.

This species is very common and widespread throughout of Britain and Ireland, and is also found throughout mainland Europe and in North America.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Nathan Crawford

Locality: unknown

Note: Just in case, this post has been tagged with “trypophobia”

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