Boletus erythropus Pers.    
   (= B. luridiformis Rostk.)   

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Order: Boletales

British distribution: Widespread, generally common.
World distribution: Europe. Elsewhere?

Boletus erythropus
Boletus erythropus, Chatelherault, Lanarkshire, 1981

A typical boletoid fungus, toadstool-shaped but with tubes instead of gills, the basidiospores being released from the inside surfaces of the tubes. Consequently the hymenium is well protected but with a large surface area.

Mycorrhizal with forest trees, coniferous as well as deciduous (perhaps also with small shrubs as it is also reported from pastures and moorland). Not at all host specific, but nevertheless a particularly characteristic species of western Scottish oakwoods.

Characteristic of this species is the red stem that gives it its name (erythro-pus - "red-foot"). The colour can be seen to be dense spotting, as distinct from the red network on the stems of the related B. luridus. The pores (openings of the tubes) are also red, bruising dark blue if touched. Note also the flesh colour, yellow at first but rapidly turning dark blue on cutting, then paling to a leaden colour. The species is described and illustrated in many popular guides.

This species is interpreted here in the sense of Muñoz (2005), the current standard work on European Boletus (fine photographs and q.v. for list of approved illustrations). The application of the name has been questioned and recent authors have preferred the name, 'Boletus luridiformis', the name adopted in Legon et al. (2005). However, Kibby (2011) argues convincingly for retention of the long accepted epithet, 'erythropus' and his view is followed here.

Boletus erythropus
Boletus erythropus, material from Blackcraig, Perthshire, 1982

•   Kibby, G., (2011). British boletes with keys to species, [privately published, London].
•   Legon, N.W., Henrici, A., Roberts, P.J., Spooner, B.M., & Watling, R., (2005). Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
•   Muñoz, J.A., (2005). Boletus s. l., Fungi Europaei. Vol. 2 [2nd edition], Edizioni Candusso, Alassio.

Useful Boletales Web-link
    Excellent resource site and summary of European boletes, with many high-quality photographs.

© A.J. Silverside
Page first hosted at, September 1998 (as Boletus erythropus); transferred to with minor edits, October 2010 (as Boletus luridiformis), revised April 2014
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