Observation 74525: Boletus sensibilis Peck

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29% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Red cap, bright red stipe, slowly bruising to dull blue-grey, curry aroma; a beauty that I regret harvesting! This tasted good to me.
28% (1)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Blue stains in the context of B. sensibilis vary in my experience with CT boletes
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-24 09:29:30 CDT (-0400)

How much and how quickly sensiblis blues can also vary within a single collection of several specimens and I’ve noticed on occasion that sometimes young specimens with tighly packed hyphae blue less intensely than older specimens. Sometimes, not always. That’s my experience Dave. I guess one unanswered question about this variable cluster of similar species that people call the bicolor group is ; Are there non-sensibilis taxa in this group that smell like curry? And I suppose you may as well include the questions “are there mostly red-stiped sensibilis” and “are there non-blueing sensibilis?” I don’t have the answers to these questions but they are good questions. I think that’s where I.G. was heading with his questions on this group

The thing that bothers me
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2011-08-24 09:02:30 CDT (-0400)

about this one is the slow bluing mentioned by Martin. The photo shows the cut context only slightly blue.

Aside from what I ID as bicolor (rosy red colors, at most very slight bluing of context, no strong odor), most of the times when I find one of these red/yellow boletes with the shallow tubes, I never manage to get a species ID to my liking. But the times I have IDed one as sensibilis, the cut context turned dark blue very quickily, if not virtually instantly.

Any comments out there regarding the quickness with which sensibilis/pseudosensibils turns blue?

I.G. All my comments have to do with my experience with local populations of B. sensibilis
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-24 08:04:39 CDT (-0400)

These statements about Boletus sensibilis may or may not have bearing on populations outside of CT. may have different phenotypes and thus different amount of various colors in the stipe and cap and different amounts of characteristic smells. My experience in CT is that the curry smell is present in all the sensibilis I see here. Likewise although the ground color of the stipe of sensibilis is yellow there are variable amount of red in the stipe, usually at the base and usually confined to the lower half but variations occur and like Noah I have seen sensibilis with a mostly red stipe though it’s uncommon. As for me saying “any red and yellow bolete having a strong curry smell is definately sensibilis” that’s not something I ever said or meant… it’s something you stiched together taking a bunch of snips of conversations out of context and creating your own outrageous generality. Most of the descriptions you read in field guides are copied from other field guides especially Roger Phillips work and the Bessette,Roody book in most cases uses Pecks description if it’s a Peck species. Are there specimens of B. sensibilis that don’t have a curry smell or have mostly red stipes? Maybe. They’re mushrooms, they varies from region to region, population to population, day to day.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2011-08-23 23:33:52 CDT (-0400)

So basically according to your last comment, which is undoubtedly based on your extensive field experience, any red-and-yellow bolete in the bicolor family having a strong curry-like odor is definitely B. sensibilis, regardless of the amount of red on the stipe.

Here are the descriptions of stipal color schemes for B. sensibilis from B-R-B’s “North American Boletes” and from Phillips’ “Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America”, respectively:

“… mostly yellow, but often tinged pink or red near the base…”
“… bright yellow with base a dull red…”

Both agree that yellow is the dominant color, and the red hues are pale and limited to the stipal base. Neither mentions all red or variably red stipes at any age, or having redder stipes in older specimens than younger ones.

Also, only B-R-B mentions curry on the nose — Phillips describes the odor as “mild”.

I am not saying they are right and you are wrong, or vice versa, in defining what bicolor type qualifies to be B. sensibilis. I just think that the jury is still out…

For me smell is the most reliable field character for this species
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-23 22:22:16 CDT (-0400)

stipe colors vary but the smell of curry is always there at least in my CT collections. Nothing else smells like this. I retract my stsatement about red only occurs after the cap expands. That’s not accurate. Sensibilis can have a red stipe or partially red stipe at any age but most often when older.

there’s no flip flop here that I see
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-23 22:11:47 CDT (-0400)

sensibilis often has a yelloe stipe especially when young (I have dozens of pics of this) but also can have a red stipe. The stipe color is variable

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2011-08-23 22:01:19 CDT (-0400)

Looks like Noah caught Bill “flip-flopping” on a sensibilis issue here! :-)

B. sensibilis odor
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2011-08-23 21:55:07 CDT (-0400)

is variable as per the big bolete book — fruity, curry, licorice, maple syrup, etc. — and, furthermore, our noses are going to interpret these odors differenly due to a variety of factors, such as the strength/sensitivity of our olfactory receptors, the concentration of the “curry”-smelling compound(s) as well as presence of other odorous volatiles in the mushroom in question. Hence, I would be very reluctant to propose such bolete ID’s based on the smell as a defining characteristic that trumps other observable traits (however variable they could be). As a matter of fact, I would be content with keeping my confidence level in identifying any bicolor-like bolete at “could be”…

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2011-08-23 21:22:18 CDT (-0400)

Here is the other OB, (Bill says the opposite… But) http://mushroomobserver.org/49204?q=6NHm

I agree with Noah
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-23 21:19:55 CDT (-0400)

Boletus sensibilis can have a red stipe. Sure! Why not! The older they are the redder they get.

Red stipe
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2011-08-23 21:08:39 CDT (-0400)

I have an observation of sensibilis with a really red stipe. They usually are yellow or just with a reddish blush but at times can be all red/pinkish red.

the red of the cut-away at the base of the stipe
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-23 20:52:10 CDT (-0400)

is a function of age: Many young boletes have this feature when young including but not restricted to bicolor, sensibilis, pseudosensibilis, subvelutipes, subgraveolens, and others

Smell of curry is the clincher for me
By: Bill (boletebill)
2011-08-23 20:47:42 CDT (-0400)

sensibilis starts life with a yellow stipe that reddens from the base up as it ages. The flesh always blues, sometimes slow and weak, other times fast and furious. The cap color varies: yellowish/olive, bright red. pink/red and all stages between. The tubes are shallow like bicolor and the The pore mouths blue then fade to gray/red. Smell of curry is the thing that sets this apart from bicolor and pseudosensibilis. This one looks like sensibilis to me.

Too much red
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2011-08-23 20:19:43 CDT (-0400)

on the stipe to be B. sensibilis. Weak bluing of the stipe surface and context as well as the razor thin tube layer are suggestive of B. bicolor. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if both of us are wrong!

Created: 2011-08-23 19:46:35 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-03-01 22:05:34 CST (-0500)
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