Boletus huronensis (“False King Bolete”)

Exceptionally dense. Found in hemlock. Pale yellow pores slowly bruise green-blue, resolving toward brown. Often has a “tide mark” on the stem. Netting is rare. Often tastes sweet.

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Description

A magnificent array from Robert Gergulics of The 3 Foragers.

A magnificent array from Robert Gergulics of The 3 Foragers.

Genus: Boletus

Species: huronensis

Common Name: False King Bolete

Tells: Exceptionally dense. Found in hemlock. Pale yellow pores slowly bruise green-blue, resolving toward brown. Often has a “tide mark” on the stem. Netting is rare. Often tastes sweet.

Other Information: Sometimes has a disagreeable garlic or skunky odor. Likes hemlock (B. edulis typically prefers Norway spruce). May have an unusual lack of bug holes.

  • Edulis has white flesh that does not stain
  • Huronensis has pale yellow flesh that may slowly or erratically stain blue
  • Edulis has white netting on the stem
  • Huronensis has little or no netting on the stem, and often has a “tide mark” line around the middle
  • Edulis has pores that bruise orange-cinnamon to yellow-brown
  • Huronensis has pores that slowly bruise green-blue, then resolve to red-brown
  • Edulis prefers Norway spruce, but can be found with other conifers
  • Huronensis likes hemlock
  • Alas for the fact, but edulis often suffers from larval infestations
  • Huronensis may (not confirmed) be bug resistant

More Notes: This is the only mushroom in North America that can have non-bluing yellow pores and also be a sick-maker. If you think you’re looking at a possible huronensis, you should definitely check out this article by mycologist Bill Bataikis in addition to your books. It contains descriptions of the mushroom from various sources, along with a number of useful photos. One particular point that may be useful is this account credited to Grund and Harrison, Nova Scotian Boletes (1976) at pp. 112-114:

“We have tested the edibility of this species, and report that it has an excellent flavor and no unpleasant after-effects [contrary to the experience of certain others!]. It is usually free of maggots while B. edulis found at the same time is often riddled with them, which adds to its desirability as an esculent [in other words “as an edible” – use of an obscure word proves they’re genuine scientists and not pretenders].”

This first hand account of a poisoning blamed on huronensis also described the mushroom as “worm free.” So if you’re in an area where the B. edulis are typically infested with bug holes, the lack of larval tunnels may be a clue that you’ve now got a huronensis instead. Double check to see if the flesh has a yellower-than-usual shade, look for any hint of bluing in that flesh, and double-check the pores for any bluing too. And just in case you think this might be excessive, Click here for a first hand account of a poisoning that’s blamed on this particular mushroom. Not at all fun.

Edibility: Avoid. Though listed in many books as edible, huronensis has been blamed for some notorious, multi-day, projectile food poisonings in the mushrooming community.

CHEMICAL TESTS:

  • NH4OH (Ammonia): Cap surface flashes green and then turns orange. Cap flesh turns pale gray.
  • KOH: Cap surface flashes green and then turns pale orange. Cap flesh turns orange.
  • FeSO4 (Iron Salts): Cap surface flashes green and then turns bluish olive-gray. Cap flesh turns bluish olive-gray.

Links:

National Audubon Society Field guide to Mushrooms, Gary Lincoff 0 Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians 0 North American Boletes 119 110

 

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