Leccinum crocipodium - Saffron Bolete

Leccinum crocipodium - Saffron Bolete

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Boletales - Family: Boletaceae

Appearing under oak trees and in coppice woodland, mainly bordering clearings or at the edge of woods, Leccinum crocipodium is an infrequent bolete; its caop is yellow when young, but as it matures the colour darkens to a brownish-yellow and cracks appear like crazy paving on the cap.

This striking mushroom appears in autumn, invariably under oak trees and often on woodland edges or beside paths and other clearings.

Identification guide

Cap of Leccinum crocipodium

Cap

4 to 9cm in diameter, the yellowish-brown or reddish-brown cap remains domed, and the cuticle slightly overhangs the edge of the cap.

Initially the cap is downy and usually deep yellow, but as it matures the surface crazes and turns a duller yellow-brown, sometimes splitting at the margin. The cap flesh is straw coloured, blackening when cut.

Tubes and poress

The densely-packed tubes, 0.3 to 0.5mm in dia., are pale yellow and the rounded pores are bright lemon yellow - a helpful identifying feature - becoming darker buff when bruised.

As the fruiting body ages, the pores turn dingy buff.

Stem

The pale, usually yellowish stem is slightly barrel shaped and typically 2cm in diameter and 6 to 12cm tall; it is often thicker towards the base. The surface is covered in brownish woolly scales in an irregular network.

When bruised, the pale grey stem flesh does not turn blue but rather it reddens slightly and eventually becomes grey; cut or damaged stem flesh also blackens gradually..

Spore print

Ochre.

Odour/taste

Not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

Under oak trees and occasionally hornbeams, with which this bolete is mycorrhizal. The Saffron Bolete is most often found on compacted chalky loam, and is not normally found in the oakwoods of western Britain which are on strongly acid soils.

Season

July to September.

Occurrence

Rare. 

Similar species

Leccinum scabrum has a similarly scaly stem, but the cap does not usually craze and its spore print is ochraceous-brown.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

Henk C. den Bakker, Barbara Gravendeel & Thomas W. Kuyper (2004). An ITS phylogeny of Leccinum and an analysis of the evolution of minisatellite-like sequences within ITS1; Mycologia, 96(1), 2004, pp. 102-118.

British Boletes, with keys to species, Geoffrey Kibby (self published) 3rd Edition 2012.

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

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