The boletes are one of the groups of mushrooms that are fairly easy to recognize due to the fact that they have pores instead of gills. Run your finger underneath the cap of a potential boletus. If the texture is smooth it is likely that the mushroom you are looking at is a boletus.
Earlier this week I described Zeller’s Boletus, a boletus that we found at Miracle Beach Provincial Park on the weekend. Yesterday, while at Woodhus Slough we discovered a different boletus – Lake’s Boletus (Suillus lakei).
Several diagnostic features identify this mushroom as Lake’s Boletus. The reddish brown colour and the texture of the cap match with this species. The colour of the stalk and the bluish staining at the base are also indicative of Lake’s Boletus. Finally the yellowish colour of the pores and brownish staining when bruised (see photograph below) are also evidence that the mushroom is indeed Suillus lakei. The mushroom was growing in appropriate habitat in an area with numerous Douglas Fir trees.
The New Savory Wild Mushroom states that this mushroom is edible but “rather coarse and tasteless.” As always, I caution you to make sure you know exactly what you’re harvesting before you eat it and check your identification with an expert. Quite honestly, I think that it is much more interesting to simply enjoy mushrooms for their own intrinsic beauty. Also, your likelihood of experiencing mushroom poisoning is greatly reduced!