A bolete is a type of fungal fruiting body characterized by the presence of a pileus that is clearly differentiated from the stipe, with a spongy surface of pores (rather than gills) on the underside of the pileus. "Bolete" is also the English common name for fungal species having this kind of morphology.
The boletes are classified in the Boletales; however, not all members of that order are boletes. Recent discoveries in the micromorphology and molecular phylogeny of this group have established that it also contains a large number of agarics, gasteromycetes, and other fruit body morphologies. Similar pore surface is found in polypores, but these species usually lack the overall physical structure of boletes, many have much firmer (often woody) flesh, and lack the microscopic characters of boletes.
Generally, the term refers to members of the genus Boletus, but as superficially similar fungi have been placed in other genera, many of them have retained the common name. These include:
- Birch bolete – Leccinum scabrum
- Bitter bolete – Tylopilus felleus
- Butter bolete – Butyriboletus appendiculatus
- Chestnut bolete – Gyroporus castaneus
- Manzanita bolete – Leccinum manzanitae
- Rhubarb bolete – Boletellus obscureococcineus