BOLETUS EASTWOODIAE (Murrill) Saccardo and Trotter, Sylloge Fungorum 27:237. 1912
Suillellus eastwoodiae Murrill, North Am. Flora 9:152. 1910.
Illustrations: See Microfiche No. 7
Smith, A. H., Mushrooms in Their Natural Habitats, Reel V.
Smith, A. H., The Mushroom Hunter's Field Guide, p. 51, pl. 94.

Pileus 10-17 cm broad when mature, convex when young, becoming broadly convex to plano-convex to plane with age; surface dry, typically uneven, pitted to undulating, when young glabrous to obscurely velutinous to tomentose, unchanging or becoming appressed fibrillose with age, old carpophores sometimes appearing rimose-areolate or distinctly fibrillose-scaly; color when young reddish brown ("deep olive-buff" to pale "buffy brown"), frequently with distinct reddish tones or blushes, especially near the margin, typically unchanging with age, or with the tips of the fibrils becoming dark gray; margin entire, incurved when young, becoming decurved with age. Context up to 4 cm thick, bright yellow ("picric yellow" to "Naples yellow" to "naphthalene yellow"), quickly changing to dark blue when exposed. Taste and odor not distinctive.

Tubes 0.5-1 cm long, adnate to adnexed when young, typically becoming depressed with age, yellow ("naphthalene yellow" to "barium yellow"), bluing immediately when exposed; pores rarely reaching 1 mm in width, angular, when young dark red ("ox-blood red" to "maroon"), when older fading to reddish brown ("garnet brown" to "nopal red" to "Pompeian red" to "dragons-blood red"), sometimes yellowish toward the margin in older pilei, bluing immediately when bruised.

Stipe 8-15 cm long, 2-5 cm thick at the apex, up to 9.5 cm thick at the base, clavate to bulbous (but not abruptly so) to occasionally equal, solid; surface dry, conspicuously reticulate all the way or two thirds the distance to the base; background color pale reddish brown ("apricot buff" to "rufous" to "warm buff"), reticulations red ("Pompeian red" to "dragons-blood red" to "Eugenia red"), base staining brown ("chestnut-brown") when handled, bluing when bruised. Context yellow, bluing when exposed.

Spore print brown. Spores 13-16 X 5.5-6.5 Ám, ochraceous in KOH, dark ochraceous in Melzer's, smooth, moderately thick-walled, subellipsoid to subfusoid, ventricose in profile.

Basidia 35-40 X 9-12 Ám, one- to four-spored, hyaline in KOH, clavate, hymenium giving a relatively strong amyloid reaction. Hymenial cystidia 33-60 X 8-12 Ám, scattered, hyaline when young, staining ochraceous in KOH when older, especially those near the pores, fusoid-ventricose to subclavate to basidioid.

Tube trama divergent from a distinct central strand, sometimes appearing gelatinous in KOH. Pileus trama interwoven, homogeneous. Pileus cuticle differentiated as a trichodermium of tangled unbranched hyphae staining ochraceous in KOH, contents of individual hyphae pale smoky ochraceous, walls noticeably roughened. Stipe cuticle differentiated as a compact palisade of globose to pyriform to fusoid-ventricose cells with elongated, tapering apices. Clamp connections absent.

Chemical reactions KOH-context pale yellow; HCl-context pink, cuticle pink; HNO3-context and cuticle pink; sulfoformalin-context and cuticle pink; FeSO4-cuticle gray.

Habit, habitat, and distribution Solitary to gregarious in soil in mixed and coniferous forests. Originally described from the vicinity of San Francisco, it has now been found as far north as Humboldt County. Quite unexpectedly it was once found in abundance under red firs in the vicinity of Yuba Pass at an elevation of approximately 7,000 feet. So far as is known, this is the only report of its presence in localities other than the coastal forest. It must be considered rare, since only one or two basidiocarps per year have been found.

Material studied Humbolt County: Edwards 192. Mendocino County: Thiers 9431, 10591, 10677, 21318, 21421, 21501, 21659, 24490, 26999. Sierra County: Thiers 13218, 13239. Sonoma County: Dusatko November, 1962.

Observations Boletus eastwoodiae is distinguished macroscopically most readily by the brown color of the pileus, the red pores, and the stipe, which is frequently clavate or bulbous and strongly reticulate. Microscopically, the size of the spores and the nonamyloid septa in the hyphae of the cuticle and trama contribute toward its distinctiveness. It is quite obviously closely related to B. satanas, but that species has smaller spores and amyloid septa in the tramal hyphae. Furthermore, the pileus of B. satanas is gray to olive buff with pinkish to vinaceous blushes-not brown, and the stipe typically has an exaggerated bulbous base with the apical portion highly constricted. The color of the pores and stipe are often paler and more vinaceous than those of B. eastwoodiae.

The concept of B. eastwoodiae is admittedly quite confused. The California collections would be incorrectly determined if the original description was strictly followed, since it clearly states that the stipe is smooth rather than reticulate, and this feature was even used as a key character. Although no report has been found in which the original description was amended, all later descriptions, including those of Murrill, clearly state that the stipe is reticulate. That there is considerable uncertainty regarding the distinction between this species and B. satanas is readily apparent when descriptions and photographs of the two are checked.

There is at least one report of poisoning from eating this mushroom. According to this report only "a very small piece of the inner flesh" was swallowed, yet the symptoms were rather severe. Thus, this bolete should not be eaten under any circumstances and care should be taken even in tasting it.

Online edition addendum

Comments: This species is now known as Boletus pulcherrimus Thiers & Halling. The holotype of B. eastwoodiae is a basidiocarp of B. satanas. See Thiers and Halling, 1978.
Other Descriptions and Photos: The Fungi of California

The Boletes of California
Copyright © 1975 by Dr. Harry D. Thiers
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