Barrow's Bolete Bonanza

Submitted by daniel on Tue, 10/28/2014 - 23:42

Boletus barrowsii patch

It looks like the unusually warm fall encouraged this Barrow's bolete to put out an incredible amount of large fruiting bodies. However, I think part of this mass fruiting is that the host oak tree handed over an extra large amount of sugars to its root-associate. I read some German research that ectomycorrhizal fruiting is heavily influenced by how well the host tree fared in the previous year, not just the current season. And last year was an totally outstanding mushroom fall in the PNW, but this year these oaks have about 7 to 10 times as many mushrooms amongst them.

Boletus barrowsii
Boletus barrowsii has a whitish to grayish cap with suede-like texture. Its pores are white when young, do not bruise blue and turn light brown-yellowish when old.
The stem [with a reticulated upper part] ranges from whitish to grayish and can be darker than the cap.

Boletus barrowsii baskets

I brought a laundry basket to the site for harvesting. All in all it added up close to 50 pounds, crazy. 
It is a choice edible mushroom, and I prefer its firm and aromatic flesh to our endemic Cascade mountain variety of Boletus edulis, which is one of my absolute favorites.
I left the biggest boletes growing, gave a bunch away to friends, but ended up processing boletes for days. 

bolete drying

The dryer was running continously for days. Young and medium aged pores I keep, since the pore tissue has the most taste. 
However, the oldest pores I collected and put in a watering can and spread the spores in the neighborhood under suitable potential host trees.

Greater Seattle area - photos Oct. 20-24, 2014

Last edited on Wed, October 29, 2014, 2:44 pm