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The Boletaceae are a family of mushrooms, primarily characterized by developing their spores in small pores on the underside of the mushroom, instead of gills, as are found in agarics. Nearly as widely distributed as agarics, they include the Cep or King Bolete (Boletus edulis), highly sought by mushroom hunters. As a whole, the typical members of the family are commonly known as boletes.

Boletus edulis EtgHollande 041031 091.jpg
Cep, Boletus edulis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Boletales
Family: Boletaceae
Chevall. (1828)
Type genus
Fr. (1821)

Strobilomycetaceae E.-J.Gilbert (1931)
Octavianiaceae Locq. ex Pegler & T.W.K.Young (1979)
Boletellaceae Jülich (1981)
Chamonixiaceae Jülich (1981)
Xerocomaceae Pegler & T.W.K.Young (1981)
Hapalopilaceae Jülich (1982)

Boletes are a relatively safe group of mushrooms for human consumption, as none are known to be deadly to adults, and they are some of the most highly sought fungi for mushroom hunting. They are especially suitable for novice mushroom hunters, since there is little danger of confusing them with deadly mushrooms, like various Amanita agarics, which are the most poisonous mushrooms in the world. Some boletes are toxic, but those are not easily confused with the most popular edible ones. Boletes are easily distinguished from agarics, and easily recognized for colour, pores and thick stems and caps.



Most species in Boletaceae produce large fleshy mushrooms with a central stipe. The spore print colours are commonly olivaceous (yellowish-green), yellowish, brownish, or vinaceous (red-wine coloured). In many species, flesh that is bruised or cut will turn blue, a result of the oxidation of pulvinic acid derivatives, like variegatic, xerocomic, and atrotomentinic acid.[2] The mushrooms usually have tubular hymenophores, although some species (like those in the genus Phylloporus) are lamellate.


Boletaceae were first described by the French botanist François Fulgis Chevallier in 1826 as a family distinct from Agaricaceae. Five genera were included in Chevallier's circumscription: Boletus, Cladoporus (now synonymous with Laetiporus[3]), Physisporus (now Perenniporia[4]), Polyporus, and Fistulina.[5]


Devil's bolete (Rubroboletus satanas)

Rolf Singer, in the 4th edition (1986) of his Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy, included 26 genera and 415 species in the Boletaceae.[6] Molecular phylogenetic studies of the 2000s have revised the concept of the family; in a highly cited 2006 publication, Manfred Binder and David Hibbett included 38 genera.[7] Even after recent changes in classification that have moved many members out of the Boletaceae, it remains a large family with many genera. According to the Dictionary of the Fungi (10th edition, 2008), 35 genera are recognized in Boletaceae, which collectively contain 787 species.[8] In the comprehensive work of Wu et al.(2014), seven major clades at subfamily level and 59 generic lineages were uncovered, including four new subfamilies (Austroboletoideae, Chalciporoideae, Leccinoideae, and Zangioideae) and 22 new potential genera.[1] Several new genera have since been described.

It is important to note that that the characters previously used in morphology-based taxonomy of Boletaceae (e.g. basidiospore ornamentation, basidioma and "stuffed" pore morphology) are inconsistent with molecular taxonomy: suggesting multiple origins within the family, so they "should be de-emphasized [or] combined with other characters ... for high-level classification of Boletaceae".[1]

Genus Authority  Year No. of species Distribution
Afroboletus Pegler & T.W.K.Young 1981 7 tropical Africa
Alessioporus[9] Gelardi, Vizzini & Simonini 2014 1 southern Europe
Aureoboletus Pouzar 1957 17[10] widespread
Australopilus[11] Halling & Fechner 2012 1 Australia
Austroboletus Wolfe 1980 ~30 America; Australasia
Baorangia[12] G. Wu & Zhu L. Yang 2015 >2 East Asia, North America
Boletellus Murrill 1909 ~50 widespread
Boletochaete Singer 1944 3 Africa; Southeast Asia
Boletus Fr. 1821 ~300 widespread
Borofutus[13] Hosen & Zhu L.Yang 2012 1 Bangladesh
Bothia Halling, T.J.Baroni, & Binder 2007 1 North America
Buchwaldoboletus Pilát 1962 3 Europe; Australia
Butyriboletus[14] D.Arora & J.L.Frank 2014 18 widespread
Caloboletus[15] Vizzini 2014 13 widespread
Chalciporus Bataille 1908 25 widespread
Chamonixia Rolland 1899 8 widespread
Corneroboletus[16] N.K.Zeng & Zhu L.Yang 2012 1 Singapore; Malaysia; tropical China
Crocinoboletus[17] N.K. Zeng, Zhu L. Yang & G. Wu 2015 2 East Asia and South Asia
Cyanoboletus[18] Gelardi, Vizzini & Simonini 2014 3 widespread
Durianella[19] A.W.Wilson & Manfr.Binder 2008 1 Malaysia and Borneo
Exsudoporus[20] Vizzini, Simonini & Gelardi 2014 3 North America and Europe
Fistulinella Henn. 1901 15 pantropical
Gastroboletus Lohwag 1962 13 widespread
Gastroleccinum Thiers 1989 1 North America
Harrya[11] Halling, Nuhn & Osmundson 2012 2 Asia; North America; Central America
Heimioporus E.Horak 2004 ~15 widespread
Heliogaster[21] (Kobayasi) Orihara & Iwase 2010 1 Japan
Hemileccinum[22] Šutara 2008 3[10] Europe and North America[10]
Hortiboletus[23] Simonini, Vizzini & Gelardi 2015 4 Europe and North America
Imleria[24] Vizzini 2014 4[25] Europe, Asia, and North America[25]
Imperator Assyov et al. 2015 3 Europe and Western Asia
Lanmaoa[12] G. Wu, Zhu L. Yang, Halling 2015 >5 East Asia, North America
Leccinellum Bresinsky & Manfr. Binder 2003 10 widespread
Leccinum Gray 1821 135 widespread
Mucilopilus[1] Wolfe 1979 4[26] North America, New Zealand[26]
Mycoamaranthus Castellano, Trappe & Malajczuk 1992 3 Australasia; Africa, Southeast Asia
Neoboletus Gelardi et al. 2014 9 Europe, Asia
Nigroboletus[27] Gelardi, Vizzini, E. Horak, T.H. Li & Ming Zhang 2015 1 China
Octaviania Vittad. 1831 15 widespread
Parvixerocomus[12] G. Wu & Zhu L. Yang, 2015 2 East Asia
Paxillogaster E.Horak 1966 1 South America
Phylloboletellus Singer 1952 1 Central and South America
Phyllobolites Singer 1942 1 South America
Phylloporus Quel. 1888 ~50 cosmopolitan
Pseudoaustroboletus[28] Yan C. Li & Zhu L. Yang 2014 1 East Asia and South Asia
Pseudoboletus Šutara 1991 2 north temperate regions
Pulchroboletus[9] Vizzini, Simonini & Gelardi 2014 1 southern Europe
Pulveroboletus Murrill 1909 25 cosmopolitan
Retiboletus Manfr. Binder & Bresinsky 2002 5 north temperate regions
Rheubarbariboletus[23] Vizzini, Simonini & Gelardi 2015 2 Europe
Rhodactina Pegler & T.W.K.Young 1989 2 India, Thailand
Rossbeevera[29] T.Lebel & Orihara 2011 9 Asia, Australia
Royoungia Castellano, Trappe & Malajczuk 1992 1 Australia
Rubroboletus[30] Kuan Zhao & Zhu L.Yang 2014 8 Widespread
Rugiboletus[12] G. Wu & Zhu L. Yang 2015 2 East Asia
Setogyroporus Heinem. & Rammeloo 1999 1 tropical Africa
Singeromyces M.M.Moser 1966 1 Argentina
Sinoboletus M.Zang 1992 10 China
Solioccasus[31] Trappe, Osmundson, Manfr.Binder, Castellano & Halling 2013 1 Australasia
Spongiforma[32] Desjardin, Manf. Binder, Roekring & Flegel 2009 2 Thailand; Malaysia
Strobilomyces Berk. 1851 ~20 cosmopolitan
Suillelus Murrill 1909 11 North America and Europe
Sutorius[33] Halling, Nuhn & Fechner 2012 3 North America, Costa Rica, Africa, S.E. Asia and Australia
Tubosaeta E.Horak 1967 5 Africa; Asia
Tylopilus P.Karst 1881 111 widespread
Veloporphyrellus L.D.Gómez & Singer 1984 1 Central America
Wakefieldia Corner & Hawker 1952 2 Asia; Europe
Xanthoconium Singer 1944 7 cosmopolitan
Xerocomellus[22] Šutara 2008 9 North and South America, Europe
Xerocomus[22] Quel 1887 >20 widespread
Zangia[34] Yan C.Li & Zhu L.Yang 2011 6 China

Many other genera formerly part of this family have been moved into other, smaller families as work with molecular phylogeny shows that they are more distantly related, even if physically similar. Representative of this adjustment is the move of the slimy-capped genus Suillus to Suillaceae.


Boletes are found worldwide, on every continent except Antarctica. Well-known and well-described in the temperate latitudes in the northern hemisphere, newer research has shown significant diversity in tropical and southern hemisphere regions as well. E. J. H. Corner found evidence of at least 60 species on the island of Singapore alone. In 1972 he described 140 species from the Malay Peninsula and Borneo and estimated there were an equal number again to be found.[35]

Similar statements about the biodiverse richness of Australian Boletaceae have also been made.[citation needed]


Many of the boletes are considered to be true culinary delicacies, especially the king bolete (Boletus edulis); the Scandinavian cuisine praises boletes. In Finnish cuisine, the king bolete is universally considered to be the tastiest culinary mushroom[citation needed]. A large number of boletes are delicious or at least edible. Poisonous or otherwise inedible species do exist, however, such as the unpalatable bitter species Boletus calopus and the aptly named bitter bolete (Tylopilus felleus) with a taste compared to bile, and some orange-capped species of Leccinum. As the bitter bolete resembles somewhat the king bolete, it can produce literally a bitter disappointment to the mushroom hunter. The rule of thumb is that the bitter bolete has pink pores, and a brownish stipe with a dark brown (sometimes approaching black) reticulum, while the cep has whitish pale grey, occasionally cream-colored to cream-colored with faint green tones, pore surface, a light-colored (white and/or similar in color to the rest of the stipe) reticulum and white hyphae tufts at the base of the stipe. If confused, the most simple solution is to taste a small amount of cap context. If the taster detects a strong, foul bitter taste immediately or near immediately, it is Tylopilus felleus, unless, of course, the taster lacks the necessary genes to detect the chemical responsible for the bitter taste. They also grow in different habitats. The bitter bolete lacks the stuffed or plugged pore appearance (caused by a hyphal mat of cheilocystidia) that is common in the cep and allies. The peppery bolete (Chalciporus piperatus) has extremely strong taste, and has been used in place of pepper.[36]

Finnish cuisine uses boletes for various soups, sauces, casseroles, and hotpots. They are sometimes also used as pizza filling, not unlike champignons, shiitake, or portobellos.

Two of the best common edible boletes, however, are the bay bolete (Boletus badius), whose pores bruise blue-green, and the orange birch bolete, which is a Leccinum with an orange cap and which bruises a bluish grey.

Several guidebooks recommend avoiding all red-pored boletes, but both B. erythropus (Neoboletus luridiformis) and Suillellus luridus are edible when well-cooked. One instance of death from Boletus pulcherrimus was reported in 1994; a couple developed gastrointestinal symptoms after eating this fungus with the husband succumbing. An autopsy revealed infarction of the midgut.[37] Boletus satanas has also long considered to be poisonous, though it has not been responsible for any deaths. The symptoms are predominantly gastrointestinal in nature. A glycoprotein, bolesatine, has been isolated. A similar compound, bolevenine, has been isolated from the poisonous Neoboletus venenatus of Japan.[38]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Wu G, Feng B, Xu J, Zhu X-T, Li Y-C, Zeng N-K, Hosen MI, Yang ZL (2014). "Molecular phylogenetic analyses redefine seven major clades and reveal 22 new generic clades in the fungal family Boletaceae". Fungal Diversity. 69 (1): 93–115. doi:10.1007/s13225-014-0283-8.
  2. ^ Nelson SF. (2010). "Bluing components and other pigments of Boletes" (PDF). Fungi. 3 (4): 11–14.
  3. ^ Kirk et al., (2008), p. 146.
  4. ^ Kirk et al., (2008), p. 535.
  5. ^ Chevallier FF. (1826). "Flore Générale des Environs de Paris" (in French). 1: 248.
  6. ^ Singer R. (1986). The Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy (4th ed.). Königstein im Taunus, Germany: Koeltz Scientific Books. ISBN 3-87429-254-1.
  7. ^ Binder M, Hibbett DS (2006). "Molecular systematics and biological diversification of Boletales". Mycologia. 98 (6): 971–81. doi:10.3852/mycologia.98.6.971. PMID 17486973.
  8. ^ Kirk et al. (2008), p. 96.
  9. ^ a b Gelardi M, Simonini G, Ercole E, Vizzini A (2014). "Alessioporus and Pulchroboletus (Boletaceae, Boletineae), two novel genera for Xerocomus ichnusanus and X. roseoalbidus from the European Mediterranean basin: Molecular and morphological evidence". Mycologia. 106 (6): 1168–1187. doi:10.3852/14-042. PMID 24895429.
  10. ^ a b c Halling RE, Fechner N, Nuhn M, Osmundson T, Soytong K, Arora D, Binder M, Hibbett D (2015). "Evolutionary relationships of Heimioporus and Boletellus (Boletales), with an emphasis on Australian taxa including new species and new combinations in Aureoboletus, Hemileccinum and Xerocomus". Australian Systematic Botany. 28 (1): 1–22. doi:10.1071/SB14049.
  11. ^ a b Halling RE, Nuhn M, Osmundson T, Fechner N, Trappe JM, Soytong K, Arora D, Hibbett DS, Binder M (2012). "Affinities of the Boletus chromapes group to Royoungia and the description of two new genera, Harrya and Australopilus". Australian Systematic Botany. 25 (6): 418–31. doi:10.1071/SB12028.
  12. ^ a b c d Wu G, Zhao K, Li Y-C, Zeng N-K, Feng B, Halling R, Yang ZL (2015). "Four new genera of the fungal family Boletaceae". Fungal Diversity. 81: 1. doi:10.1007/s13225-015-0322-0.
  13. ^ Hosen MI, Feng B, Zhu XT, Li YC, Yang ZL (2013). "Borofutus, a new genus of Boletaceae from tropical Asia: phylogeny, morphology and taxonomy". Fungal Diversity. 58: 215–226. doi:10.1007/s13225-012-0211-8.
  14. ^ Arora D, Frank JL (2014). "Clarifying the butter Boletes: a new genus, Butyriboletus, is established to accommodate Boletus sect. Appendiculati, and six new species are described". Mycologia. 106 (3): 464–80. doi:10.3852/13-052. PMID 24871600.
  15. ^ Vizzini A. (10 June 2014). "Nomenclatural novelties" (PDF). Index Fungorum (146): 1–2. ISSN 2049-2375.
  16. ^ Zeng N-K, Cai Q, Yang ZL (2012). "Corneroboletus, a new genus to accommodate the southeastern Asian Boletus indecorus". Mycologia. 104 (6): 1420–32. doi:10.3852/11-326. PMID 22684293.
  17. ^ Zeng N-K, Wu G, Li Y-C, Liang Z-Q, Yang ZL (2014). "Crocinoboletus, a new genus of Boletaceae (Boletales) with unusual boletocrocin polyene pigments". Phytotaxa. 175 (3): 133–140. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.175.3.2.
  18. ^ Vizzini A. (7 June 2014). "Nomenclatural novelties" (PDF). Index Fungorum (176): 1. ISSN 2049-2375.
  19. ^ Desjardin DE, Wilson AW, Binder M (2008). "Durianella, a new gasteroid genus of boletes from Malaysia" (PDF). Mycologia. 100 (6): 956–61. doi:10.3852/08-062. PMID 19202849. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  20. ^ Vizzini A. (22 August 2014). "Nomenclatural novelties" (PDF). Index Fungorum (183): 1. ISSN 2049-2375.
  21. ^ Orihara T, Sawada F, Ikeda S, Yamato M, Tanaka C, Shimomura N, Hashiya M, Iwase K (2010). "Taxonomic reconsideration of a sequestrate fungus, Octaviania columellifera, with the proposal of a new genus, Heliogaster, and its phylogenetic relationships in the Boletales". Mycologia. 102 (1): 108–21. doi:10.3852/08-168. PMID 20120234.
  22. ^ a b c Šutara J. (2008). "Xerocomus s. l. in the light of the present state of knowledge" (PDF). Czech Mycology. 60 (1): 29–62.
  23. ^ a b Vizzini A (26 May 2015). "Nomenclatural novelties". Index Fungorum (244): 1. ISSN 2049-2375.
  24. ^ Vizzini A. (12 June 2014). "Nomenclatural novelties" (PDF). Index Fungorum (147): 1. ISSN 2049-2375.
  25. ^ a b Zhu X-T, Li Y-C, Wu B, Feng B, Zhao K, Gelardi M, Kost GW, Yang ZL (2014). "The genus Imleria (Boletaceae) in East Asia". Phytotaxa. 191 (1): 81–98. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.191.1.5.
  26. ^ a b Wolfe CB. (1979). "Mucilopilus, a new genus of the Boletaceae, with emphasis on North American taxa". Mycotaxon. 10 (1): 116–32.
  27. ^ Gelardi M, Vizzini A, Ercole E, Horak E, Ming Z, Li TH (2015). "Circumscription and taxonomic arrangement of Nigroboletus roseonigrescens gen. et sp. nov., a new member of Boletaceae from tropical south–eastern China". PLOS ONE. 10 (8): e0134295. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134295. PMC 4532479. PMID 26263180.
  28. ^ Li Y-C, Li F, Zeng N-K, Cui Y-Y, Yang ZL (2014). "A new genus Pseudoaustroboletus (Boletaceae, Boletales) from Asia as inferred from molecular and morphological data". Mycological Progress. 13 (4). doi:10.1007/s11557-014-1011-1. 1011.
  29. ^ Lebel T, Orihara T, Maekawa N (2012). "Erratum to: The sequestrate genus Rossbeevera T.Lebel & Orihara gen. nov. (Boletaceae) from Australasia and Japan: new species and new combinations". Fungal Diversity. 52: 1–73. doi:10.1007/s13225-011-0118-9.
  30. ^ Zhao K, Wu G, Yang ZL (2014). "A new genus, Rubroboletus, to accommodate Boletus sinicus and its allies". Phytotaxa. 188 (2): 61–77. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.188.2.1.
  31. ^ Trappe JM, Castellano MA, Halling RE, Osmundson TW, Binder M, Fechner N, Malajczuk N (2013). "Australasian sequestrate fungi 18: Solioccasus polychromus gen. & sp nov., a richly colored, tropical to subtropical, hypogeous fungus". Mycologia. 105 (4): 888–95. doi:10.3852/12-046. PMID 23709482.
  32. ^ Desjardin DE, Binder M, Roekring S, Flegel T (2009). "Spongiforma, a new genus of gasteroid boletes from Thailand". Fungal Diversity. 37: 1–8.
  33. ^ Halling RE, Nuhn M, Fechner NA, Osmundson TW, Soytong K, Arora D, Hibbett DS, Binder M (April 11, 2012). "Sutorius: a new genus for Boletus eximius". Mycologia. 104 (4): 951–61. doi:10.3852/11-376. PMID 22495445.
  34. ^ Li YC, Feng B, Yang ZL (2011). "Zangia, a new genus of Boletaceae supported by molecular and morphological evidence". Fungal Diversity. 49: 125–43. doi:10.1007/s13225-011-0096-y.
  35. ^ Corner EJH. (1972). Boletus in Malaysia. Government Printing Office/Botanic Gardens, Singapore. OCLC 668353.
  36. ^ Carluccio A. (2003). The Complete Mushroom Book. London, UK: Quadrille. ISBN 978-1-84400-040-1.
  37. ^ Benjamin DR. (1995). "Red-pored boletes". Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas—A Handbook for Naturalists, Mycologists and Physicians. New York, New York: WH Freeman and Company. pp. 359–60.
  38. ^ Matsuura M, Yamada M, Saikawa Y, Miyairi K, Okuno T, Konno K, Uenishi J, Hashimoto K, Nakata M (2007). "Bolevenine, a toxic protein from the Japanese toadstool Boletus venenatus". Phytochemistry. 68 (56): 893–98. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.11.037. PMID 17254619.

Cited textsEdit

  • Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CAB International. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8.

External linksEdit