When: 2011-08-13

Collection location: Union Twp., Hunterdon Co., New Jersey, USA [Click for map]

Who: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)

No specimen available

This one got me fooled! It looks very much like B. bicolor, but it’s not bicolor — at least based on macrochemical tests and a strange “meaty” odor, especially in older specimens. The red color on cap and stem fades away with age to pinkish-red. This bicolor look-alike appears to be mycorrhizal with oaks and fruits at this location every year from July till the first half of September, and in good years can be found in staggering numbers in these woods. I might have eaten it five years ago, when I wasn’t as knowledgeable and more intrepid, with no ill effects, but I certainly wouldn’t risk trying it now.


No bluing! Picture taken 1 hr after dissection and it still looks exactly like when first cut it half — just small traces of blue under the cuticle.
Staining of the pileipellis with 3% aqueous KOH (on the right) and aqueous ammonia (on the left)
Staining of the context with 3% aqeuous KOH (left half) and aqueous ammonia (right half)

Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
26% (1)
Recognized by sight: It actually looks too red and not pink enough
Based on chemical features: The tests sort of match. And the smell is distinctive.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2016-07-10 20:20:22 CDT (-0400)

B. pallidoroseus is a possibility, as I used to find a lot of the “beef bouillon” boletes in those woods back in the day. [BTW, just like you I ate them with total impunity many years ago, thinking it was B. bicolor, before I became aware of B. pallidoroseus.] This particular specimen was too dark and vividly colored to be the “beef bouillon” bolete. The camera flash might have emphasized the color a bit, but it was still much deeper than pale rose red.

The chemical test sort of match to pallidoroseus
By: Scott Pavelle (Scott Pavelle)
2016-07-10 19:54:21 CDT (-0400)

And the meaty odor is distinctive. How true are the photo colors? I would like this ID more if it was less red and more pink.


FWIW, I have eaten and enjoyed pallidoroseus and so have many other locals who mistook it for bicolor. The books are less confident.

One red/yellow bolete
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-14 22:11:09 CDT (-0400)

with a meaty odor is B. pallidoroseus; but the red in this one appears to be too vivid for this species.