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Boletus pinophilus

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Boletus pinophilus
Boletus pinophilus3.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Boletaceae
Genus: Boletus
Species: B. pinophilus
Binomial name
Boletus pinophilus
Pilát & Dermek (1973)[1]
  • Boletus aestivalis var. pinicola
    (Vittad.) Sacc[2]
  • Boletus edulis var. pinicola
  • Boletus edulis f. pinicola
    (Vittad.) Vassilkov[4]
  • Boletus pinicola
    (Vitt.) Venturi[3]
Boletus pinophilus
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
pores on hymenium
cap is convex
hymenium is adnexed
stipe is bare
spore print is olive-brown
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: edible

Boletus pinophilus, commonly known as the pine bolete or pinewood king bolete, is a basidiomycete fungus of the genus Boletus found throughout Europe. For many years, Boletus pinophilus was considered a subspecies or form of the porcini mushroom B. edulis. In 2008, B. pinophilus in western North America were reclassified as a new species, Boletus rex-veris. Boletus pinophilus is edible, and may be preserved and cooked.

The fungus grows predominantly in coniferous forests, forming symbiotic ectomycorrhizal associations with living trees by enveloping the tree's underground roots with sheaths of fungal tissue. The fungus produces spore-bearing fruit bodies above ground in summer and autumn. The large, edible fruiting bodies known as mushrooms appear under pine trees, generally in summer and autumn. It has a matte brown to maroon-coloured cap and its stem is often large and swollen, and the overall colour may have an orange-red tinge. As with other boletes, the size of the fruiting body is variable.


Italian naturalist Carlo Vittadini was the first to recognise the pine bolete as a distinct taxon. It was raised to species status by Antonio Venturi in 1863. For many years, Boletus pinophilus was considered a variety of Boletus edulis, and before that as Boletus pinicola. This species, while no longer treated as a variety of B. edulis, is classified in Boletus section Boletus, and hence, as a close relative of B. edulis.[5] It gained its current name in 1973, described by Czech mycologists Albert Pilát and Aurel Dermek.[6] Its specific epithet is a mix of Latin pinus "pine",[7] and Ancient Greek philus "loving".[8] Boletus pinicola is a synonym subsequently found to be an invalid name.[9] Common names include the pine bolete,[9] and the pinewood king bolete.[10]

In 2008, a taxonomic revision of western North American populations of this species was published, formally establishing them as a distinct species, Boletus rex-veris.[11] Phylogenetic analysis has shown B. pinophilus as a member of a clade, or closely related group, with the North American species B. subcaerulescens, Gastroboletus subalpinus, B. regineus, B. fibrillosus, and B. rex-veris.[12] Despite the diverse appearances, these taxa are close genetically, leading Feng and colleagues to speculate on combining the first four taxa above as a single species. These four diverged from the lineage that gave rise to B. fibrillosus and B. rex-veris around 5 million years ago.[13]


Boletus pinophilus

The fruiting body has a convex-shaped cap, at first small in relation to its stipe, expanding in volume as it matures. The skin of the cap is dry, matte and can be coloured from maroon to chocolate brown with a reddish tint. These characteristics distinguish it visually from relatives such as Boletus edulis, Boletus reticulatus and Boletus aereus. The young, immature cap may have a pale pink colour and a white, powdery flush. Measuring 4–10 cm (1.6–4 in) tall by 3–8 (1.2–2.2–in) cm wide, the bulbous stipe is often large, swollen and imposing, bearing a network. The overall colour may have an orange-red tinge which is more obvious in the lowest parts, although this is also common in other species. As with all boletes, the size of the fruiting body can be very variable. The cap diameter can be as much as 30 cm (12 in) and stem height 15 cm (6 in).[9][14]

Like other boletes, Boletus pinophilus has small pores on the underside of its cap rather than gills. These are coloured white at first, becoming yellow with age and olivaceous-brown at full maturity. The spores are cylindric-ellipsoid, smooth, with oil drops and dimensions 15.5–20 by 4.5–5.5 µm. They produce an olivaceous brown spore print.[9][14]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

In Europe, Boletus pinophilus is found in Britain,[9] where it is more common in Scotland, and in France, where it is more common in the south.[15] The bolete is considered vulnerable in the Czech Republic.[16] It is sold commercially in Finland.[17]

Boletus pinophilus forms ectomycorrhizal relationships with pine (Pinus), fir (Abies) and spruce (Picea). It can therefore be located wherever those trees grow, particularly with Scots pine in Britain,[18] preferring the poor, acidic, and sandy soils associated with coniferous forests. It appears to favour Pinus, while the form of the mushroom occurring in association with Abies and Picea has been labeled Boletus pinophilus var. fuscoruber.[5] However, it is not confined to coniferous trees and may also be found fruiting in deciduous forests, such as under chestnut trees.[15] Fruiting bodies can occur singly, or in small groups throughout the summer and autumn months, although they are known to appear as early as April in Italy.[19]


The Boletus pinophilus is edible,[20][21][22] and may be used fresh, preserved, dried and cooked in a manner similar to that of other edible boletes.[20][21] It is highly regarded and can be quite expensive in central Mexico, and is often sold dried there.[23] The flesh is white, soft in mature specimens and does not change colour upon bruising. The taste and smell is pleasant.[20] People of La Malinche have likened the flavour to pork and pork crackling.[23] It is easily misidentified as the porcini Boletus edulis, due to the similar habitat and appearance.[24]

Boletus pinophilus is known to be a bioaccumulator of the heavy metals mercury, cadmium and selenium.[10][25] To reduce exposure, authorities recommend avoiding mushrooms from polluted areas such as those near mines, smelters, roadways, incinerators and disposal sites. Furthermore, pores should be removed as they contain the highest concentrations of pollutants.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Boletus pinophilus taxon record details at Index Fungorum". Index Fungorum. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Boletus aestivalis var. pinicola taxon record details at Index Fungorum". Index Fungorum. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  3. ^ a b Phillips, Roger (1981). Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Great Britain and Europe. London: Pan Books. p. 194. ISBN 0-330-26441-9. 
  4. ^ "Boletus edulis f. pinicola taxon record details at Index Fungorum". Index Fungorum. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  5. ^ a b Beugelsdijk DCM; van der Linde S; Zuccarello GC (2008). "A phylogenetic study of Boletus section Boletus in Europe" (PDF). Persoonia 20: 1–7. doi:10.3767/003158508X283692. PMID 20467482. 
  6. ^ Pilát A (1973). "Boletus pinophilus nomen novum pro Boletum pinicolam (Vittadini 1835) Venturi 1836.". Česká Mykologie 27: 6–8. 
  7. ^ Simpson, D.P. (1979). Cassell's Latin Dictionary (5 ed.). London: Cassell Ltd. p. 883. ISBN 0-304-52257-0. 
  8. ^ Liddell HG, Scott RS (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910207-4. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Phillips, Roger (2006). Mushrooms. Pan MacMillan. p. 275. ISBN 0-330-44237-6. 
  10. ^ a b Falandysz J, Bielawski L, Kannan K, Gucia M, Lipka K, Brzostowski A. (2002). "Mercury in wild mushrooms and underlying soil substrate from the great lakes land in Poland". "Journal of Environmental Monitoring" 4(4): 473–476.
  11. ^ Arora D (2008) California porcini: three new taxa, observations on their harvest, and the tragedy of no commons. Economic Botany 62(3): 356–375.
  12. ^ Dentinger, Bryn T.M. et. al (2010). "Molecular phylogenetics of porcini mushrooms (Boletus section Boletus)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (3): 1276–1292. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.10.004. PMID 20970511. 
  13. ^ Feng B, Xu J, Wu G, Zeng N-K, Li Y-C, Bau T, Kost GW, Yang ZL (2012). "DNA Sequence Analyses Reveal Abundant Diversity, Endemism and Evidence for Asian Origin of the Porcini Mushrooms" 7 (5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037567. e37567. 
  14. ^ a b "Boletus pinophilus description by Mushrooms and Fungi of Poland". Mushrooms and Fungi of Poland. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  15. ^ a b Lamaison, Jean-Louis; Polese, Jean-Marie (2005). The Great Encyclopedia of Mushrooms. Könemann. p. 29. ISBN 3-8331-1239-5. 
  16. ^ Mikšik M. (2012). "Rare and protected species of boletes of the Czech Republic". Field Mycology 13 (1): 8–16. doi:10.1016/j.fldmyc.2011.12.003. 
  17. ^ Pelkonen, Riina; Alfthan, Georg; Järvinen, Olli (2008). Element Concentrations in Wild Edible Mushrooms in Finland. Helsinki: Finnish Environment Institute. p. 32. ISBN 978-952-11-3153-0. 
  18. ^ "Boletus pinophilus record at BioImages UK". BioImages (UK). Archived from the original on September 2, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Boletus pinophilus description by Gruppo Micologico «G. Bresadola»". Gruppo Micologico «G. Bresadola». Retrieved 28 August 2008. 
  20. ^ a b c Ts. Hinkova (1986). Нашите Гъби. Zemizdat (Bulgaria). p. 41. 
  21. ^ a b Læssøe T, Del Conte A (1996). The Mushroom Book. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0-7894-1073-7. 
  22. ^ Jordan M (1995). The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe. David & Charles. p. 338. ISBN 0-7153-0129-2. Google books
  23. ^ a b Montoya A, Kong A, Estrada-Torres A, Cifuentes J, Caballero J. "Useful wild fungi of La Malinche National Park, Mexico" (PDF). Fungal Diversity. Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Mushroom Research Foundation. pp. 115–43. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  24. ^ "Foreningen til Svampekundskabens Fremme". Danish Mycological Society. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  25. ^ Cocchi L, Vescovi L, Petrini LE, Petrini O. (2006). "Heavy metals in edible mushrooms in Italy". Food Chemistry 98 (2): 277–84. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.05.068. 
  26. ^ Benjamin DR (1995). Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas — a Handbook for Naturalists, Mycologists and Physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company. p. 123. ISBN 0-7167-2600-9.