Stem Color. Many, maybe even most, boletes have a stem with more than one prominent shade. Pick the one that you think is primary. As usual, I have designed the filters to screen out only those where that particular color can’t be the primary one.
- White, Buff, or Light Gray.
- Yellow to Orange.
- Red, Pink, or Purple.
- Some Shade of Brown.
- Black, Dark Brown, or Dark Gray.
Stem Decoration/Texture. The occasional dot, spot, line, striation, etc. can be ignored. This is for features prominent enough to be considered an identifying characteristic.
- Stem has No Significant Ornaments.
- Stem is Viscid, Slimy or Slick.
- Stem Has a Ring (Annulus). If your baby mushroom has a smooth stem with a veil over the pores, it could easily be one that grows up to have a ring on its stem.
- Stem has Ridges. Ridges = “raised lines.”
- Stem is Netted (Reticulated).
- Stem has Scabers/Scales. Scabers = “raised dots or spots”. Virtually all scabered stems are included as “dotted”, but not necessarily as “ridged”.
- Stem is Notably Dotted and/or Spotted.
Stem Size. This is another filter that isn’t as clear as I’d like it to be. The idea is that most boletes have a stem that’s fairly even going down, with only gradual size distinctions. Particular specimens may be more distorted, but with those it’s usually clear that you’re looking at an outlying individual. A few species, however, have stems that are downright odd compared to that standard, and for those the stem shape becomes a useful characteristic to narrow down the field. Thus you should only apply these filters when you think the stem shape is striking.
- Stem is Skinny & Useless. Small mushrooms have small stems. This is meant for mushrooms where the stem is so thin and/or fibrous that it’s basically inedible.
- Stem is Bulbous. The word is used loosely, & includes both the truly “bulbous” and all species where the bottom of the stem may be noticeably swollen into a lump that’s much bigger than the main part of the stem.