Large wood mushroom. Has pores or tubes but no gills

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Cracking up! – Iodene Bolete

Sometimes the best wild mushroom finds are the ones when you’re not actually looking for them. These mushrooms were only a few hundred yards from my home on a grass verge beneath an Oak tree.

Growing Iodine BoleteMy chance discovery was an Iodene Bolete (Hemileccinum impolitum – formerly. Boletus impolitus) which mainly shows up in the Summer. It isn’t really that common either. Its appearance can be infrequent or rare.

It favours broad leaf trees, especially Oak, which in this case it preferred. There were several of them in a small group, standing out like sore thumbs. I had passed them earlier in the month, while out on my bike, as their caps were poking through the growing grass. I had only glanced over at them initially. To be honest they looked just like discarded old potatoes thrown on the verge, so I ignored them. How stupid did I feel realising later my mistake!? And who throws potatoes onto a grass verge anyway?

There is no staining on this mushroom when cut or bruised, which helped me identify it. Several books I looked at had shown the cap with no cracking on top exposing the yellow flesh within. But, to be fair, it was mentioned within the text.

The bugs absolutely loved these shrooms – they were all over them. So after I had flicked and shook them all off I took one for myself. Knowing this was an edible Bolete I thought I might give it a taste test (not expecting a taste sensation though!). But unfortunately after slicing in half, the base of the stem was already home to many small white maggots living it up in the mushy mess they had created. Oh well!

The council grass mower soon trundled across the verge, so I couldn’t grab myself another! Unfortunately.

Ioden Bolete

Iodine Bolete with olive-brown cracking cap

The Genus BOLETUS (the Boletes): Characteristics to look out for:

• Have pores (open ends of tubes) on the underside instead of gills. Easily separated from the cap.
• Most have dry caps (viscid when wet – but not glutinous like Suillus genus).
• Most have reticulation on the stem; a fine network covering parts or all of the stem. Make note of the colour.
• When cut or bruised take note of any changes in colour to the flesh or pores.