Mushrooms

Poplar Bolete (Leccinum duriusculum)

The Poplar bolete (Leccinum duriusculum), relatively common wherever stands of Poplar (Populus x canescens) trees are. This tree is an introduced deciduous cottonwood-type tree which often harbours the mycelium of the edible L. duriusculum when planted in groups. A popular choice for estates and other developments for their “wooded” effect, public green belts, parks and other landscaped areas may have a stand of poplar trees worth checking out. These fungi are relatively quick to fruit after an extended downpour and will sometimes emerge as quickly as two days later from their mulchy bed of poplar leaves.

Poplar boletes (Leccinum duriusculum) © Beverley Klein

A sturdy, dome-capped mushroom, L. duriusculum is most easily identified by its grainy, stone-like stem with a slightly rough texture, with darker, streaky brown vertical lines running down the length of it. Its most distinctive feature is the azure blue “bruise ” of this mushroom that appears a few minutes after cutting, slicing or scratching the flesh on the cap or stem. This bluing is a result of oxidation and is often noticeable at the base of the stem without cutting.

Poplar boletes (Leccinum duriusculum) © Beverley Klein