Boletus bicolor: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Boletus bicolor Mushroom
This mushroom has beautiful and starkly contrasting red and yellow colors. The cap and stem, when fresh, are bright red, and the young pore surface is bright yellow. The pore surface bruises blue promptly, but the mushroom's other surfaces usually do not and the sliced flesh, most of the time, turns blue only faintly and erratically.
Boletus bicolor is often confused with both Boletus sensibilis and Boletus pseudosensibilis, and confusion among these three species is rampant, to judge from online accounts. Several mistakes have helped to spread the confusion, including the notion that Boletus sensibilis smells like curry, while Boletus bicolor does not.
Grow frequently in deciduous woodlands, such as Canada, Florida, Wisconsin. In the East, they grow in China and Nepal. They do not have a distinct growth pattern, though they are often seen growing under broad-leaved trees, such as oak. They may grow in seclusion, in groups, or clusters. Harvest time is from June to October. Upon harvesting, Boletus bicolor may be consumed either dried or fresh.
Other names: Baorangia Bicolor, Two-colored Bolete, Red Bolete, Yellow Bolete.
Poisonous Look-Alikes of the Boletus bicolor
Boletus Sensibilis is the most common of these look-alikes and is considered mildly poisonous.
Boletus Sensibilis fruits at the same time and in association with the same trees as Bicolor Boletes. They are often nearly visually identical as well.
Note the red pores and the rapidly bluing on the cut marks. It's hard to know for certain, but this is most likely a red-pored bolete, Rubroboletus pulcherrimus.
This is another poisonous look-alike to a bicolor bolete. Note the red pores (instead of yellow) and the rapid bluing on the cut marks. It’s hard to know for certain, but this is likely a red-pored bolete, Rubroboletus pulcherrimus.
Find the right mushroom use the cut test!
Boletus sensibilis flushes blue immediately when you administer the cut test. Bicolors bruise slowly or not at all.
Boletus bicolor 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 Illinois.
4-16 cm, convex when young, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat in age; dry; finely velvety when very young, but soon bald; textured like soft leather at maturity; sometimes becoming finely cracked in old age; usually deep pinkish-red to dark brick red, fading to reddish or pinkish - but sometimes evenly bright yellow when young, then slowly developing red colors but retaining a yellow margin.
Usually running slightly down the stem, at least when young; bright yellow when young, becoming orangish, then dull olive-yellow or, rarely, reddish; bruising blue, usually promptly but sometimes slowly; with 1-2 angular pores per mm at maturity; tubes very shallow, 3-8 mm deep.
5-15 cm long; 1.5-3 cm thick; a little club-shaped when young, becoming more or less equal, above a tapered base; solid; bald; bright yellow at the apex (and, rarely, over the upper one-third); red to purplish-red below; not bruising when handled, or sometimes bruising faintly grayish-blue to moderately blue when young; not reticulate, or often with a fine red reticulum over the apical 1 cm or so; basal mycelium yellowish to sulfur yellow.
Pale yellow in the cap; deep yellow in the stem; turning faintly and erratically pale blue when sliced, especially over the tubes--or not bluing or, in rare cases, bluing moderately.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive, or reminiscent of bouillon, or curry-like; taste not distinctive, or slightly acidic.
Spore Print: Olive brown.
How to eat Bicolor Boletes?
This mushroom has a wonderful umami flavor and meat-like texture. Only eat them cooked, not raw.
It’s a good idea to only eat a small amount of Bicolor Boletes your first time to make sure your body doesn’t have a negative reaction.
Even large bicolor boletes can still be good in the kitchen, so long as they're not too bug eaten. This large bicolor is still in perfect shape inside.
We’d also advise you to make Bicolor Boletes as simply as possible the first time so you get to know their flavor. This will help better inform your decision about how to use them in the kitchen in the future.
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