Observation 175137: Leccinum aurantiacum (Bull.) Gray

When: 2014-08-23

Collection location: Perry, Maine, USA [Click for map]

Who: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)

No specimen available

Under moss with balsam fir in mixed woods that include white pine. Cap white where shaded, streaked with orange, sterile margin. Tiny stuffed pallid pores. Stem white with whitish scabers. Photos are from following morning as I didn’t have my camera when it was collected—cap more orange, stem with some brownish scabers. Flesh white becoming grayish to gray brown in the cap and upper stem when cut, stem base bluing. Mild odor and taste.

Proposed Names

11% (2)
Recognized by sight: L. aurantiacum is a European taxon not associated with conifers; occurrence in the USA is questionable (as per mushroomexpert.com)

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Hello, Terri:-
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2014-08-24 16:27:51 -05 (-0500)

Bessette and Phillips are great references, but both are unfortunately out of date as new research transpired after their printing. Many species concepts have since been refined by molecular studies of the last decade.

Leccinums in North America are a mess taxonomically speaking as no one has studied them as rigorously as their European counterparts. To quote den Bakker and Noordeloss, 2005:
Leccinum aurantiacum is probably a European species, and no records are known from North America. The descriptions of L. aurantiacum in North American literature represent a mixture between a L. vulpinum-like conifer associated taxon and North American species that are associated with broad-leaved trees, such as L. insigne, and L. brunneum”.

Most leccinums are mycorrhizal specialists. L. aurantiacum in Europe, however, is associated with several hardwoods (an exception), but never conifers.

We collect a delicious red-capped Leccinum sp. in the Pinelands. It looks just like yours, and is associated with the pitch pine growing in nutrient poor sandy soils. I’m sure its northern range goes to at least Cape Cod and possibly Maine. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s an undescribed taxon that has undergone mycorrhizal speciation from something that is known either here or in Europe.

For a broad perspective see

Hi Igor,
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2014-08-24 15:40:54 -05 (-0500)

the name is still being used on MO for NA collections: see recent obs 138362 and 167038. This fits the description given in “North American Boletes” by Bessette, Roody and Bessette and “Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America” by Roger Phillips. Both say pine for habitat.


Created: 2014-08-24 13:08:27 -05 (-0500)
Last modified: 2014-08-24 15:41:26 -05 (-0500)
Viewed: 45 times, last viewed: 2017-09-11 06:03:58 -05 (-0500)
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