What You Should Know
Boletus reticulatus is a basidiomycete fungus of the genus Boletus. It has a swollen bulbous stem with a large convex cap. The cap is more or less round and it bears a velvety brown, rust-to-chocolate cuticle which dries often cracks to reveal the white flesh underneath, giving the appearance of a net.
The darker, more uniform shade and the velvety feel of the cap are key features distinguishing this species as is the vagueness or total absence of a white edge to the cap margin as seen in Boletus edulis.
It is common throughout Europe, after hot and humid weather, from the start of summer until the end of autumn.
The species is edible and has a sweet nutty taste. It is called an early porcini mushroom because it appears earlier in the year than regular porcini mushrooms. The pleasant mushroom aroma stands out especially when drying, but it can be used in almost any preparation. Unfortunately, it is quite often attacked by insects, and sometimes it is better to leave it in the forest as an ornament than to cut it up and throw it on the spot for worm infestation.
Other names: Summer King Bolete, Summer Cep, Vroeg eekhoorntjesbrood (Netherlands), Hřib Dubový (Czech), Sommersteinpilz (German).
Boletus reticulatus Mushroom Identification
The cap is 5-20 (25) cm in diameter, fleshy, initially hemispherical, later convex-spread, pillow-like, and spread flat. The surface of the cap is initially pubescent, later smooth, dry, slightly wrinkled, and matte. In dry weather the cap is covered with characteristic cracks, forming a mesh pattern, gray-brown, gray-brown, coffee, ocher, brown, and does not change color in places of contact.
The hymenophore is tubular. Pores are small, rounded, initially whitish, later yellowish, with age yellow-green.
The stem is 5-25 cm high, 2-7 cm in diameter, initially bulbous, later mace-shaped, expanded to the base, longitudinally wrinkled, dense, fleshy, solid, light nut-colored, and covered with a white or brownish net.
The flesh is meaty, dense, white, creamy under the skin, yellowish above the tubular layer with age, and does not change color when cut.
Odor and Taste
The smell and taste are pleasant and mushroomy. Also, the taste can be nutty.
Grows from June to November in deciduous and mixed forests, singly and in groups, form mycorrhiza with oaks and beeches.
Boletus reticulatus Look-Alikes
Usually greasy, shiny cap skin that is lighter towards the edge; light-colored stem with fine white netting in the upper part. Grows in spruce, beech.
The cap skin is dark brown to almost black. Stem light brown, hardly wetted, more marbled with longitudinal stripe.
The cap skin is dark brown with reddish nuances. Stem brownish to reddish brown with an inconspicuous network pattern.
Has white or pinkish skin and strongly bitter flesh.
Boletus reticulatus Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1774 German naturalist Jacob Christian Schäffer described this species, in his series on fungi of Bavaria and the Palatinate, Fungorum qui in Bavaria et Palatinatu circa Ratisbonam nascuntur icones.
In 1793 French mycologist Jean-Jacques Paulet described it as Le grand Mousseux (Tubiporus aestivalis), adding that it was delicious with chicken fricassee and could be found in the Bois de Boulogne in summer.
Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries followed Paulet, using Boletus aestivalis in 1838. The two names have been used in literature for many years.
The British Mycological Society approved the name "summer bolete" for Boletus reticulatus.
The species name is derived from the Latin aestas "summer".
Boletus reticulatus Synonyms
Tubiporus aestivalis Paulet (1793)
Boletus aestivalis (Paulet) Fr. 1838
Boletus carpinaceus Velen. 1939
Boletus edulis f. reticulatus (Schaeff.) Vassilkov 1966
Boletus edulis subsp. reticulatus (Schaeff.) Konrad & Maubl. 1926
Boletus luteus Vent., 1812
Boletus mutabilis Batsch, 1783
Boletus reticulatus Schaeff. 1763
Boletus reticulatus subsp. carpinaceus (Velen.) Hlaváček
Boletus reticulatus subsp. reticulatus Schaeff.
Boletus reticulatus var. minor Alb. & Schwein.
Boletus reticulatus var. reticulatus Schaeff.
Boletus reticulatus var. rubiginosus Pelt. ex E.-J. Gilbert
Suillus aestivalis (Paulet) Kuntze
Suillus reticulatus (Schaeff.) Kuntze
Tubiporus aestivalis Paulet 1793
Versipellis aestivalis (Paulet) Quél.
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