What You Should Know
Suillus variegatus is a species of edible mushroom in the genus Suillus. Like all bolete-like species, it has tubes, and pores, instead of gills under its cap. It is a tall-stemmed and fleshy bolete that rarely exhibits the sliminess that is characteristic of the genus suillus. Cap sandy to rusty brown colored. At first ovate and then convex. The skin can be removed. Flesh pallid ochraceous and turns blue when cut and thumbed.
Suillus variegatus stands out amongst most other Suillus species (except Suillus cavipes) due to its un-typical cap cuticle/surface which is almost always dry and felty, and covered in fine scales.
Other names: The Velvet Bolete, Variegated Bolete, Sandsopp (Sweden), Fijnschubbige Bboleet (Netherlands), Priežu Sviestbeka (Latvia).
Suillus variegatus Mushroom Identification
Yellowish ochraceous to yellowish-brown, the cap surface is nearly always dry (except in wet weather), finely velvety or finely scaly, the caps grow to between 4 and 10cm in diameter, and remain slightly convex.
The cap flesh is pale yellow and soft; it blues noticeably above the tube layer when the cap is cut - a distinguishing feature of this otherwise rather dull and undistinguished bolete.
Tubes and Pores
The irregular, sometimes compound and slightly angular tubes are shallow and darkish buff to mustard color, and they terminate in olivaceous-ochre pores that take on cinnamon to mustard-colored tinge when fully mature.
The parallel or slightly bulbous stem is straw yellow and has no ring or ring zone. When cut, the pale yellow stem flesh does not change color significantly.
Fusiform, smooth, 8-11 x 3-4μm.
Ochre or sienna-brown.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive; taste rather acidic.
Habitat & Ecological Role
Mycorrhizal, found beneath coniferous trees and in particular Scots Pine.
Suillus variegatus Look-Alikes
The equivalent species in western North America.
Has a similar cap but there is a distinct ring zone on its stem and its pores are much larger and angular.
Which has usually a darker cap, dotted stem, unchanging flesh and grows under five-needled pines only.
Suillus variegatus Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1810 Swedish mycologist Olof (Peter) Swartz (1760 - 1818) described this bolete scientifically, he gave it the binomial name Boletus variegatus.
In 1888 French mycologists Charles Édouard Richon (1820 - 1893) and Ernest Roze (1833 - 1900) transferred this species to the genus Suillus, establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Suillus variegatus.
Synonyms of Suillus variegatus include Boletus variegatus Sw., and Ixocomus variegatus (Sw.) Quél.
The generic name Suillus means of pigs (swine) and is a reference to the greasy nature of the caps of fungi in this genus, although Suillus variegatus is untypical in not being a particularly slimy mushroom even in wet weather.
The specific epithet variegatus means variegated, but the adjective in the common name Velvet seems even more appropriate.
Photo 1 - Author: Aorg1961 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Suillus_variegatus_111113w.JPG: Strobilomycesderivative work: Ak ccm (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Irene Andersson (irenea) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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