from the Greek meaning 'pretty lump of clay'
Pores: the bright yellow pores stand out as you pick and turn over the mushroom, they bruise blue when handled or pressed firmly. The size of pores are small compared with other larger Boletes.
OVERALL: a large Bolete which grows low to the ground, often the misshapen caps can be confused to stones or rocks on the ground. The cap in more mature specimens is often dinted, grooved or covered in scales, but when you turn the mushroom over you can see the lovely bright yellow pores and bits of red on the stem. When cut in half there is sometimes a red colour to the base of the stem and the rest of the flesh slowly turns blue and then shortly after the blue begins to fade.
HABITAT: grows with deciduous trees, nearly always Beech (Fagus) and Oak (Quercus). It is often found growing at the side of roads and paths where the soil is slightly more compacted.
DISTRIBUTION: more frequently encountered in the south where it is Occasional, it happens to grow very close to Discover the Wild in the north but it would still be considered a Scarce find up here, practically absent from Scotland.
SEASON: summer to autumn.
EDIBILITY: Not Edible. Considered too bitter and foul tasting.
EASE OF IDENTIFICATION: the robust nature of these large Boletes, the often 'misshapen' cap, the colour it turns when cut and the stem base which often feels like it is made of wood, should all point to this species.
SMELL: slightly peppery but never strong.
SPORE PRINT: Olivaceous - brown.
SIMILAR SPECIES: the Iodine Bolete (Hemileccinum impolitus) grows in similar habitat and grows to around the same size, it does not turn blue when cut though and has a smell of Iodine in the base of the stem. The Bitter Beech Bolete (Caloboletus calopus) is a smaller less robust species, it has a more obvious red stem which extends over much of it. The stem of the Bitter Beech Bolete is not woody at the very base. Other larger Boletes of this size would either not have any colour change in the flesh when damaged or the pores would be a red/orange colour.
Cap: pale grey and usually showing as if it has grown under stress, uneven surface, dints, grooves, wavy around the edges, this is more so in more mature specimens. Often shows cracks on the cap.
Overall: a large Bolete which often looks like it has a 'deformed' cap, possibly due to the fact it likes to grow through somewhat compacted soil, especially at the side of roads and pathways.
Flesh: starts pale yellow and becomes white in the cap, then slowly blue and then fading to very light blue or even off white after a few minutes.
Stem: the bottom of the stem is often rather firm, in some cases almost feeling like wood. Yellow and sometimes with bits of red showing through, often white at the very base of the stem.
Note: can have varying amounts of red in the flesh, sometimes lots other times none.