Cap Filters – Description

Primary Cap Color. Yes, this is a spectrum thing. My idea of “white/buff” might well shade into your idea of “brown.” The filters are designed to be loose enough for all types of eyesight. A mushroom that’s basically “tan” will most likely pass through both the “Yellow/Orange” and the “White/Buff” filters, and probably the “Brown” as well. True orange would probably pass both the “Yellow/Orange” and the “Red” filters, simply because so many people will find that line confusing.

  • White, Buff, or Light Gray.
  • Yellow to Orange.
  • Red, Pink, or Purple.
  • Some Shade of Brown. Intended for something deeper than mere “tan,” though as noted above these dividing lines have a lot of crossover to account for both mushroom variation and different color perceptions.
  • Black, Dark Brown, or Dark Gray.

Cap Size. Based on the maximum cap size as listed in North American Boletes. If you find a larger specimen, please send me a photo of it set against a ruler. Why is there a category for “bigger than a tenth of an inch”? Because my testers found it confusing to start from 4″ or bigger, even though every mushroom can theoretically be small because they all start as babies. The tenth of an inch filter therefore screens out nothing.

  • My Mushroom’s Cap >.1″ Across [has no effect].
  • My Mushroom’s Cap >4” Across.
  • My Mushroom’s Cap >6” Across.
  • My Mushroom’s Cap >8” Across.

Cap Texture. Remember: this is designed for use when the cap texture is an identifying feature. If something does not clearly apply, don’t click it. Note that most mushrooms can be dry & smooth at some point in their life, so this filters out relatively few.

  • Cap Dry & Smooth (Normal).
  • Cap Viscid, Slimy or Slick. This includes “gelatinous”, “sticky”, “tacky” and all those other, overlapping terms.
  • Cap is Wrinkled, Pitted, Pebbled, or Corrugated. Merely “uneven” won’t qualify. This filter is limited to mushrooms with such a bumpy, lumpy, and distorted texture that you say “Wow, that’s unique.” Note that even severe cracking and fissuring does not qualify.
  • Cap Cracked Beyond Environmental Effects. This may be the single most confusing filter on the entire site. Yes, most boletes can get cracks in the cap when a rain triggers growth and is then followed by hot, dry weather. But some boletes almost always get really, really cracked – enough for it to be considered a distinguishing feature. Apply with caution. For those with a better command of mushroomese, I have generally said that “rimose” = cracked, and “areolate” = fissured, but have crossed over occasionally for descriptions that said “finely or minutely areolate” or “deeply rimose”. When in doubt I’ve generally used both words in my descriptions.
  • Cap Spiky or Scaly. Does not apply to mushrooms that are merely velvety (“fibrilose” or “tomentose”), even when that can be patchy. This filter is intended for boletes that have actual scales growing on top.