BOLETUS SATANAS Lenz, Schwamme, p. 67. 1831

Illustrations: See Microfiche No. 18
Kawamura, S., Icones of Japanese Fungi, pl. 242.
Leclair, A., and H. Essette, Les Bolets, pl. 55.
Romagnesi, H., Nouvel Atlas des Champignons, pl. 131.
Singer, R., Die Rohrlinge, Teil Il, pl. XV, figs. 5-10.

Pileus 10-20 cm broad at maturity, convex when young, becoming broadly convex to plano-convex with age, typically massive in appearance; surface dry, unpolished, glabrous to obscurely fibrillose to occasionally fibrillose-scaly, unchanging with age or often becoming diffracted to rimose-areolate on the disc, or becoming obscurely scaly on the disc and finely velutinous to subtomentose to glabrous toward the margin; color pale gray ("pale olive-buff" to "buffy brown") with blushes colored pink ("alizarine pink" to "old rose" to "thulite pink" to "pale rosolane purple" to "spinel pink"); young basidiocarps often predominantly gray ("pale olive-buff") with only faint traces of the pink coloration, but in older pilei the pink shades typically predominate, particularly near the margin; in some very old pilei the pink pigment is completely absent and the pileus colored near olive gray ("citrine-drab" to "dark olive-buff"); margin entire to eroded, incurved, becoming decurved with age. Context 2-5 cm thick, yellow ("pale olive-buff" to near "glass green" to "deep seafoam green"), bluing readily on exposure when young, sometimes erratically so when older. Taste and odor not distinctive.

Tubes 1-2 cm in length, arcuate-decurrent to subdecurrent when young, becoming deeply to shallowly depressed with age, yellow ("pale greenish yellow" to "deep seafoam green" to "pale glass green"), changing to blue when exposed or bruised; pores very small, up to two per millimeter, when young reddish brown ("madder brown" to "garnet brown" to "ox-blood red" to "Pompeian red"), when older often fading to red ("Eugenia red" to "jasper red" to "dragons-blood red"), bluing when bruised.

Stipe 6-12 cm long, 3.5-7 cm thick at the apex, conspicuously and abruptly bulbous, bulb 9-14 cm broad, solid; surface dry, conspicuously reticulate over upper portion or entire surface, glabrous to obscurely tomentose over nonreticulate portion, sometimes streaked and appearing appressed-fibrillose; color similar to the pileus, the reticulations colored pink to vinaceous, bulb often pinkish vinaceous ("vinaceous-pink" to "alizarine pink"). Context concolorous with the pileus, bluing when exposed, except in basal portion.

Spore print brown. Spores typically 11-14.4 X 4-6 µm, occasional giant spore up to 17.6 X 8 or 16 X 4 µm, moderately thick-walled, smooth, subellipsoid to subfusoid to subcylindric, ochraceous in KOH, bright ochraceous in Melzer's.

Basidia 24-28 X 7-10 µm, ochraceous in KOH, four-spored, clavate. Hymenial cystidia 28-42 X 7-11 µm, deeply embedded, often obscure, hyaline when young often becoming ochraceous with age, clavate to fusoid to basidioid.

Tube trama obscurely divergent from central strand, hyaline to yellow in KOH; hyphal walls typically appearing incrusted or nodulose. Pileus trama interwoven, homogeneous, hyaline in KOH, some septa amyloid, hyphae 3-5 µm in diameter. Pileus cuticle differentiated as a loosely interwoven trichodermium, hyaline to. ochraceous in KOH. Stipe cuticle differentiated as a closely packed turf of inflated to cylindric hyphal tips. Clamp connections absent.

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

Habit, habitat, and distribution Solitary to gregarious in humus under oaks. At present this species is known only in the coastal forests. It appears to be most abundant in the Santa Cruz Peninsula, where it is usually found associated with coastal live oaks. Boletus satanas is not common, but may be locally abundant during some seasons.

Material studied Marin County: Hitsch 12-1-69. Mendocino County: Thiers 9295, 21321, 26891. San Mateo County: Setzer 1404; Thieme 11-15-69; Thiers 9445, 26923, 26950, 26975. Shasta County: Thiers 21585, 21677. Sierra County: Thiers 13218, 13239. Sonoma County: Dusatko 3, 9. TuolumneCounty: Thiers 21108.

Observations The California collections of this species match the descriptions and illustrations of European material quite satisfactorily, although some foreign workers appear somewhat reticent to admit its presence in North America. It is easily recognized by its massive size, the pale-pinkish to vinaceous flushes in an otherwise light-gray to olive-buff-colored pileus, and, perhaps most readily, by the immensely bulbous base of the stipe with the apex greatly constricted. The pores are characteristically pink to vinaceous rather than darker red. As indicated previously, it is most likely to be confused with B. eastwoodiae. That species, however, has a brown pileus, dark-red pores, and the stipe is often only clavate. Microscopically, the spores of B. satanas are smaller and the septa of some of the tramal hyphae are amyloid. For further discussion, see comments under B. eastwoodiae.

The presence of pink or reddish pores places this species in the group of boletes generally not recommended for the table. It should be noted that there are families in the San Francisco Bay Area who claim to have eaten it over a long period of time and to have never suffered any ill effects. However, these basidiocarps were eaten only after they were thoroughly cooked. Remember, if you decide to try it, ingest only very small amounts at first until your reaction to it becomes apparent.

Online edition addendum

Other Descriptions and Photos: The Fungi of California

The Boletes of California
Copyright © 1975 by Dr. Harry D. Thiers
Additional content for the online edition © 1998 by Michael Wood, Fred Stevens, & Michael Boom
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