Each month we'll be highlighting one mushroom that can be found in WNC during the current month. This is in an attempt to help members or guests learn our local mushrooms. It will also be noted whether the mushroom is edible, ill advised, or poisonous.
The lilac bolete, Boletus separans, formerly Xanthoconium separans, is associated with woodland oaks. It’s medium to large in size, has a dry, lumpy cap that starts pinkish brown or light brown and matures to honey brown. The stalk is whitish overall but typically flushed with lilac in youth and shows white reticulation (raised net texture) over much of its length. Early on, the pore surface is white and featureless. When the pores open the surface gradually turns pale yellow from the yellowish brown spores. No part of the mushroom changes color when bruised. The odor and taste of the raw flesh is pleasant, not bitter or acidic. This cousin of the king bolete is a choice edible when young, firm, and relatively bug-free. Lookalikes include the also edible Boletus nobilis, which lacks the youthful lilac shades. So does Xerocomus (Boletus) hortonii, but it has yellow pores from the start.