Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus Mushroom
Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus (formerly Boletus Plumbeoviolaceus) is a fungus of the bolete family. The fruit bodies of the fungus are violet when young but fade into a chocolate brown color when mature.
This is solid and relatively large mushroom - cap diameter up to 15 cm (5.9 in), with a white pore surface that later turns pink, and a white mycelium at the base of the stem.
Like most boletes of genus Tylopilus, the mushroom is inedible due to its bitter taste. Several natural products have been identified from the fruit bodies, including unique chemical derivatives of ergosterol, a fungal sterol.
When fresh and young, Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus is one of the more beautiful eastern boletes. It is mycorrhizal with oaks and is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico.
Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus is too bitter to eat but useful for unique approaches like cocktail bitters or bittersweet candied products. It isn’t toxic; just absurdly bitter in a way that gets worse when you cook it.
Other names: Violet Gray Bolete.
Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus Identification
Mycorrhizal with oaks; growing scattered or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains. The illustrated and described collections are from Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, and Georgia.
4–10 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat in age; dry; bald, or finely suede-like when young; dark purple or purple-brown when young, becoming grayish brown to dark brown.
Whitish becoming pinkish; not bruising, or bruising cinnamon brown; pores circular, 2–3 per mm; tubes to 1 cm deep.
4–7 cm long; 1.5–2.5 cm thick; more or less equal, or enlarging towards base; purple when young, fading to purplish gray or purplish brown; bald; basal mycelium white; becoming hollow.
White; unchanging when sliced.
Odor and Taste
Taste quite bitter; odor not distinctive.
Ammonia negative on cap surface; negative on flesh. KOH negative on cap surface; negative on flesh. Iron salts negative on cap surface; blue to bluish on flesh.
Spores 8–11 x 3–4 µm; fusiform to subfusiform; smooth; hyaline to faintly yellowish in KOH. Hymenial cystidia 30–50 x 7.5–12.5 µm; lageniform, with very narrow necks; thin-walled; smooth; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis tightly packed trichoderm of thin-walled, septate, smooth elements 4–6 µm wide, with golden globular inclusions; terminal cells fusiform-cystidioid or cylindric, with subacute or merely rounded apices.
Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus Taxonomy
The species was first named 1936 as Boletus felleus forma plumbeoviolaceus by American mycologist Walter H. Snell and one of his graduate students, Esther A. Dick, based on specimens found in the Black Rock Forest near Cornwall, New York.
The first collections made of the mushroom were of young, immature specimens, from which authors were unable to obtain spores for examination. It was not until a few years after that they found mature fruit bodies, which revealed that the rosy color of the pore surface took some time to develop. They concluded that this and other differences in physical characteristics, as well as differences in spore size, were enough to justify it being a species distinct from B. felleus, so in 1941 they raised the taxon to species status with the name Boletus plumbeoviolaceus.
Noted Agaricales taxonomist Rolf Singer later transferred the taxon to Tylopilus in 1947, a genus characterized by a spore print that is pink, or wine red (vinaceous), rather than brown as in Boletus.
The specific name "plumbeoviolaceus" is coined from the Latin adjectives plumbeus ("leaden" or "lead-colored") and violaceus ("purple").
Tylopilus Plumbeoviolaceus Bioactive Compounds
Two derivatives of ergosterol have been isolated from the fruit bodies of T. plumbeoviolaceus: tylopiol A (3β-hydroxy-8α,9α-oxido-8,9-secoergosta-7,9(11),22-triene) and tylopiol B (3β-hydroxy-8α,9α-oxido-8,9-secoergosta-7,22dien-12-one). These sterols are unique to this species. Additionally, the compounds ergosta-7,22-dien-3β-ol, uridine, allitol, ergosterol, ergosterol 5α,8α-peroside, ergothioneine, adenosine, and uracil have been identified from the mushrooms.
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