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Thursday, 3 September 2015

Boletes in the Botanic Garden

Yesterday was my volunteering day in NBGW, and I came across this little group of Boletes growing under some Birch. They caught my eye as they were unusually intact - for once I got to them before the slugs!
The stipe suggests they are a Leccinum sp.

There are two possible candidates which show this blue staining of the stipe - Leccinum cyaneobasileucum and Leccinum variicolor.
Unfortunately the spores of both species are virtually identical. 
Having looked in Geoffrey Kibby's "Key to the British Boletes" I am no further forward - both seem a possibility. It doesn't help as both species appear to be quite variable.

Any ideas anyone? (Bruce - have they been found/identified before?)


  1. I think these are the same brown birch boletes Leccinum scabrum that I saw tethered to our Betula utilis trees in the outer Double Walled Garden. I photographed these last year on September 5th when the weather had been very different - after a warm, sunny summer. So I'm wondering if these might be an example of fungi that fruit according to time of year rather than environmental conditions - much like the snowdrops do.

  2. Have had another look at GK's Key to the British Boletes. I don't think these are what you photographed last year. He says ( about L.scabrum) - - - "although this is the species most commonly mentioned in books, it is frequently misidentified - - - - - never having bluish discolourations in the flesh".
    Perhaps we have two species of Leccinum growing under the Birch in the outer walled garden?

  3. The advantage of knowing a few genera well! Kibby sets out 5 macroscopic features to note before using his key. We need to cut a fb and see any change of colour in cap +/- stipe. This could well be L cyaneobasileucum having looked at Kibby (this formed the principal component of L scabrum in the past). Need a fb and book in hand! L variicolor seems to have coarse scales on stipe + cap.