- Genus 2: Boletus
- Genus 3: Suillellus
Species: luridiformis (the species name will change in the next few years. See the Science Notes)
- Species 2: likely to end up getting merged into “Boletus” subluridellus along with B. discolor. See the Science Notes.
- Species 3: erythropus
Common Name: “Slender Red-Pored Bolete” or “Scarletina”
Tells: Think “Darker Capped discolor”. Yellow stem with red-orange-brown powder/spots, blues when bruised. Blue-bruising yellow baby pores soon age to orange/red. Yellow to greenish flesh quickly blues. Likes oak.
Other Information: Pores may be irregular or circular. No netting distinguishes from B. luridus, & no red hairs at the stem base distinguishes from B. subvelutipes. B. luridiformis has a darker cap and darker yellow flesh than B. discolor, but chemical tests are required to conclusively distinguish the two (they have distinctly different reactions to Ammonia and KOH).
Science Notes: The European species formerly known as Boletus discolor, and Boletus luridiformis, Boletus erythropus, and Boletus queletii have been merged into a single species that is now called Suillellus (maybe Neoboletus) queletii. Boletes of Eastern North America follows this by merging the American “discolor” into “luridiformis” (using Neoboletus as the genus) and then continuing to use the European name until a replacement is settled. The bottom line is this: it is a beautiful mushroom with massive flexibility in how it appears.
Here’s the problem: are we justified in doing the same for the North American mushrooms known by (some) of those species names? We can be pretty sure they are not the European queletii and unpublished amateur DNA work shows that the oak-loving ones do indeed follow the same pattern – massive morphological flexibility with the same DNA – but what is the appropriate American name? Especially when different reactions to both Ammonia and KOH have been reported? They probably are the same thing… but we cannot say that with enough confidence to justify removing entries that still appear in the books, or to merge them without a proper, peer reviewed article in a reputable scientific journal. For this reason discolor, luridiformis and subluridellus still appear here under separate names even though they are likely to end up being merged into two species, and maybe even one mega-species. FWIW, those same DNA tests show that the hemlock loving B. subvelutipes really is a separate species. Stay tuned for new developments.
There is also some question about whether the Genus Suillellus should be merged with Neoboletus… but that is a whole different fight, lol. Suffice it to say they are close relatives.
One hopes the science will catch up to both of these, along with the other hard-to-distinguish red pored, blue staining lookalikes such as , B. subluridus and B. flammans, not to mention the one now known as Suillellus luridus, the several moved to Rubroboletus, and the brown-pored blue-stainers vermiculosus and vermiculosoides.
Edibility: The traditional instruction in America was clear: “Avoid the red-pored blue-stainers like this one because they are known sick makers.” That came under question beginning in the 2010’s as DNA evidence proved that these mushrooms are quite distinct from the genus Rubroboletus that holds the true “Satan’s Boletes”. For what it’s worth, the lookalike European mushroom called luridimormis/discolor is a highly prized edible commonly known as the Scarletina. So it comes down to your taste for adventure and your respect for received wisdom.
- NH4OH (Ammonia): Cap surface turns dark amber. Blue-stained cap flesh turns yellow and then white.
- KOH: Cap surface turns dark amber. Blue-stained cap flesh turns yellow and then white.
- FeSO4 (Iron Salts): Cap surface turns dark olive-green. Cap flesh slowly turns olive.