Boletus aereus is a bolete, an edible mushroom frequently consumed in the Basque Country, Navarre, France and Italy. It is commonly known as ontto beltza in Basque, porcino nero in Italian, and tête de nègre (negro’s head) in French. As a member of the Boletaceae family, this mushroom has tubes and pores, instead of gills beneath its cap.
This species is classified in Boletus section Boletus, alongside its close relatives which include Boletus edulis and Boletus pinophilus. In 2008, a taxonomic revision of western North American populations initially thought to represent Boletus aereus, formally established them as a separate species, Boletus regineus.
The height of this boletus is 15–25 cm, broad at maturity; specimens of 40 cm have been found in some cases. The cap is dark brown and the ringless stalk is 6–15 cm high, usually shorter than the cap diameter. The pores are greyish white when young, then become yellow.
Distribution and habitat
It is well known in southern Europe for its culinary qualities, and is appreciated by some even more than Boletus edulis. The similar Boletus regineus (the Queen bolete) is widely collected by both amateur and commercial collectors in California.
- Beugelsdijk DCM, van der Linde S, Zuccarello GC, and others. 2008. A phylogenetic study of Boletus section Boletus in Europe. Persoonia 20: 1–7.
- Arora D. (2008). "California porcini: three new taxa, observations on their harvest, and the tragedy of no commons". Economic Botany 62(3): 356–375.
- Carluccio A. (2003). The Complete Mushroom Book. Quadrille. ISBN 1-84400-040-0.