Boletus subluridellus

Reddish cap bruises blue/black & is often olive when young. Pores start yellow, become rosy red, age to orange, & bruise blue. Pale yellow stem, often w/reddish dots, browns from base up w/age.

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Genus: Neoboletus (see Science Notes)

  • Genus 2: Boletus

Species: subluridellus

  • Species 2: This is probably the species name that will survive as the most common version of the oak-loving Neoboletus Scarletinas. See the Science Notes.

Common Name: Red Mouth Bolete or Scarletina

Tells: Reddish cap bruises blue/black & is often olive when young. Pores start yellow, become rosy red, age to orange, & bruise blue. Pale yellow stem, often w/reddish dots, browns from base up w/age.

Other Information: Bright yellow flesh blues too, also very fast. Likes oak. Stem may be dotted but is not netted and does not have hairs, which distinguishes from lookalikes. Odor described as “peculiar and somewhat pungent but distinctive.” That is the old line used to distinguish it from discolor and luridiformis.

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 (probably Neoboletus) queletii. Boletes of Eastern North America follows this by merging the American discolor into luridiformis despite the European names, and using Neoboletus as the genus. BOENA keeps subluridellus, an American name, as a separate species while declining to move it over to Neoboletus. Whew. The bottom line is this: these are beautiful mushrooms with massive flexibility in how they appear, and the nomenclature is completely fouled up. It doesn’t help that different reactions to both Ammonia and KOH have been reported for the different color variations even when the DNA is identical. (Perhaps the reaction is with a changeable pigment?) In any case, this site plans to keep all three names (discolor, luridiformis and subluridellus) with separate entries until the mess gets cleared up by a proper article in a respected journal. Just be aware that the group will certainly be merged down into two species, and maybe even one mega-species. The name subluridellus will probably survive, but heaven alone can guess what the other will be. FWIW, DNA tests have now established that the hemlock loving B. subvelutipes really is a separate species even though it is hard to distinguish by morphology.

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. Stay tuned! Someday the science will give us clarity, and hopefully include the other hard-to-distinguish red pored, blue staining lookalikes such as B. subluridus, B. rufocinamomeus and B. flammans, the one now known as Suillellus luridus, the several moved to Rubroboletus, and the brown-pored blue-stainers vermiculosus and vermiculosoides. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Edibility: European sources say “delicious but must be thoroughly cooked.” Your author agrees, as did Gary Lincoff. With that said, Scarletinas remain on the “Iffy” list here rather than “Choice” because the traditional instruction in America was so clear: “Avoid the red-pored blue-stainers like this one unless you want to get sick.” That myth has now been destroyed, but we do not have the many decades of practical experience required to be 100% sure about things like individual sensitivities and the like. So I guess the bottom line would be this: “Choice, with cautions and maybe reservations.”


  • NH4OH (Ammonia): No data.
  • KOH: No data.
  • FeSO4 (Iron Salts): Blue-stained cap flesh turns yellow and then orange.


National Audubon Society Field guide to Mushrooms, Gary Lincoff  0 Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians 291 North American Boletes 164 163

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