Monday, November 14, 2016

Boletus pallidus (Pallid Bolete)

August-September. The first Pallid Bolete (Boletus pallidus) I saw was growing at the edge of the trail in the woods just north of the beach. It appeared to be growing in the soil some distance from any tree. However, since boletes are mycorrhizal – have a symbiotic relationship with tree roots – it was probably growing on roots from one of the nearby oaks. 

I might not have taken much notice of this unassuming bolete except for the fact that…

it was in beautiful condition. I sat on the trail and photographed it.

Its cap was buff to pale tan-colored and approximately 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Caps of Pallid boletes may range from white to pale tan; sometimes they may have rose-colored tinges. 

The stems of these boletes are usually equal in diameter along their lengths, are white but may develop brown streaks. Stems are considered to be smooth, not showing any reticulation. The stem of this particular bolete was approximately 3 inches long, tapered from the base to the apex, was pure white, and smooth although showing some ‘dimpling’.

The pore surface of this first find was white and slightly translucent and showed some yellowing near the stem. The pores were relatively large, 2-3/mm. The pore surface bruised brown when damaged. 

I found two Pallid boletes a week later.

The first of these had a more convex and darker cap, but exhibited the same plump stem. 

The second exhibited a broad convex, almost flat, cap with a stem that was narrower in the middle than at the base or apex. 

Later, in early September, I found a couple of Pallid boletes growing on rotting wood.

This bolete had an almost flat cap. Notably the stem was almost the same diameter along its length.

Its pore surface was a grayish-cream color due to the color – olive to olive-brown - of the spores that had been released, and also showed grey-blue bruising near the margin. Brown streaking was also obvious on its stem. At the base of the stem, the white mycelium of this species was clearly visible.

A closer views of the pores shows both the blue-gray bruising of this surface and the angular shape and density (2-3/mm) of the pores.

In contrast to the other Pallid boletes I found, this bolete had a white cap. Its pore surface was discolored by spore release and its stem was tapered and exhibited brown streaking. The white basal mycelium was visible at the base of the stem as well as emerging from the wood near the base of the stem. 

Once I’d identified the first Pallid bolete, it was easy to recognize them in spite of the variability of cap color and stem shape. I found all but one of these specimens in the woods by the south end of this trail. I found the last specimen at a distance from the trail north of the Fishing Area. 

Boletus pallidus has been documented from North America and Australia. 

Mushroom Expert: Boletus pallidus 
The Bolete Filter: Boletus pallidus 
Discover Life: Boletus pallidus

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