Scientific name: Harrya chromapes
Has also been called: Boletus chromapes, Leccinum chromapes, Tylopilus chromapes
Decked out in pastel pink and yellow, this early season bolete looks all set for the Easter parade. These tints may remind you of the colored eggs of that holiday. But don’t expect a gift from the bunny; you’ll have to go to the woods in May to find them yourself, like hunting Easter eggs.
Chromapes means colored foot, and refers to the distinctive bright yellow hue at the base of this bolete’s stem. That feature, plus the pink cap, and the raised reddish dots on the pale, upper stem, makes this bolete easy to identify. Although the famous King Bolete, Boletus edulis, is scarce in thus region, some mushroom hunters think that the Chrome-footed Bolete is almost as delicious. Others strongly disagree.
IN A NUTSHELL: ROSY-PINK CAP. WHITE PORES BENEATH, BECOMING PALE PINK WITH AGE. WHITE TO PINKISH STEM COVERED WITH PINK TO REDDISH DOTS. STEM BRIGHT YELLOW AT THE BASE. GROWS ON THE GROUND UNDER TREES FROM SPRING TO FALL.
CAP: 1 1/4" to 6" across. Rosy-pink, fading to tan with age. Dome-shaped. A drop of ammonia on the cap stains yellow.
PORES: White, becoming pinkish with age. Usually not discoloring, but sometimes becoming light pink from bruising.
SPORE PRINT: Pinkish-brown.
STEM: 1 5/8" to 6" long. 3/8" to 1" thick. Whitish to pale pink. Covered with red to pinkish raised dots. Bright chrome yellow at base.
GROWTH: On the ground under both conifers and hardwood trees. May to October.
EDIBILITY: Edible and very good, but hunting it is a race with the bugs.
COOKING HINT: Cook with mild tasting ingredients to feature the fine flavor of this mushroom.
COPYCATS: Boletus piperatus has a yellow stem base also, but tastes hot when nibbled raw. It’s edible, but can cause vomiting if not thoroughly cooked.
TIP: Easter happens on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the March 20-21spring equinox. That’s the time to start looking for the Chrome-footed Bolete.