Suillelus queletii (Schulzer) Vizzini, Simonini & Gelardi - Deceiving Bolete

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

Suillellus queletii, Deceiving Bolete

Suillelus queletii, the Deceiving Bolete, is a very variable mushroom, and because it is quite a rare find in Britain and Ireland there is also a significant chance of errors in formal records due to misidentification.

Distribution

Occasional in southern Britain but increasingly rare further north, Suillellus queletii is also found in mainland Europe, where it is most commonly seen in southern countries.

Taxonomic history

Suillelus queletii was given the name Boletus queletii in 1885 by Austro-Hungarian mycologist Stephan Schulzer von Müggenburg (1802 - 1892). In 2004, based on recent DNA analysis, Italian mycologists Vizzini, Simonini & Gelardi transferred this species to the new genus Suillelus, establishing the scientific name Suillelus queletii.

Synonyms of Suillelus queletii Schulzer include Boletus lateritius Bres. & R. Schulz, Suillellus queletii var. rubicundus Maire, and Suillelus queletii var. lateritius (Bres. & R. Schulz) E.-J. Gilbert.

Etymology

The generic name Boletus comes ​​from the Greek bolos, meaning 'lump of clay', while the new genus name Suillelus may perhaps imply a relationship with the genus 'Suillus' - Suillus means of pigs (swine) and is a reference to the greasy nature of the caps of fungi in that genus (but not of the genus Suillelus)... confused? Me too. The specific epithet queletii is in honour of famous nineteenth-century French mycologist Lucien Quélet.

Identification guide

Cap of Suillelus queletii, the Deceiving Bolete

Cap

Deceiving Bolete caps range from 6 to 18cm across, broadly convex and eventually almost flattening; yellowish-orange, apricot-orange or reddish orange and occasionally even deeper red; surface dry and minutely pruinose at first, becoming smoother with age; bruising blue-black.

Pores of Suillelus queletii, the Deceiving Bolete

Tubes and Pores

The tubes, which are ochre and turn blue when cut and exposed to air, terminate in distinctive peach to apricot-orange pores.

 

Suillelus queletii, cross-section of stem and cap flesh

Stem

Stems of Suillelus queletii are solid rather than hollow, cylindrica or slightloy clavate, or more often tapered and rooting; 4 to 8cm long and 4 to 8mm in diameter, yellow at the apex, and progressively deeper red towards the base, the surface usually punctate/granular but sometimes a very faint reticule is present.

In the upper half of the stem the stem flesh is pale yellow, bruising blue, which the flesh in the lower half of the stem is a deep vinaceous red - almost beetroot red-purple. This feature helps to distinguish Suillellus queletii from the otherwise rather similar Scarletina Bolete Neoboletus luridiformis (syn. Boletus erythropus) mwhose stem flesh is nearly always yellow with little or no hint of red (although just to muddy the waters there are reports of very occasional specimens of Boletus luridiformis with some deep red fresh neatr to the stem base!).

 

Spores

Subfusiform to ellipsoidal, smooth; 9-14 x 4.5-7µm (unusually short and fat for a Boletus species); Q = 1.5-2.5.

Spore print

Olive-brown.

Odour/taste

Not significant.

Habitat & Ecological role

Suillellus queletii is an ectomycorrhizal fungus; it is usually found growing on alkaline soil beneath hardwood trees, notably oaks but also beech and limes; in mainland Europe this bolete has also been recorded with birches.

Season

July to October in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Boletus luridus has a distinct reticule on its stem (and larger spores).

Neoboletus luridiformis has generally yellow stem flesh (and larger spores).

Culinary Notes

Although reported to be edible, Suillellus queletii is a rare find in Britain and so the fruitbodies are surely best left for others to enjoy.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

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

BMS List of English Names for Fungi

Estadès, A. & Lannoy, G. 2004. Les bolets européens. – Bulletin Mycologique et Botanique Dauphiné-Savoie 44(3): 3–79.

Roy Watling & Hills, A.E. 2005. Boletes and their allies (revised and enlarged edition), - in: Henderson, D.M., Orton, P.D. & Watling, R. [eds]. British Fungus Flora. Agarics and boleti. Vol. 1. Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

Knudsen, H. & Vesterholt, J. [eds.]. 2008. Funga Nordica. Nordsvamp, Kopenhagen.

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.

Acknowledgements

The pictures on this page are shown with the kind permission of Simon Harding.

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