Leccinum holopus

Leccinum holopus

The white birch bolete (Leccinum holopus (Rostk.) Watling, 1960) is a basidiomycetes mushroom belonging to the Boletaceae family.

Systematic –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Fungi, Basidiomycota Division, Class Basidiomycetes, Order Boletales, Family Boletaceae and then to the genus Leccinum and to the species L. holopus.
The terms Boletus holopus Rostk are synonyms. And Boletus chioneus Fr ..

Etymology –
The term Leccinum comes from (i) líceus, derived from ílex, -icis leccio: from the holm oak, related to the holm oak. The specific epithet Holopus comes from the Greek ὅλος hólos whole, everything from πούς, ποδός pous, pódos foot, stem: from the shank of considerable size.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Leccinum holopus is a fungus that grows mainly under broad-leaved woods, especially birch, preferring peat bogs; it is found above all in Northern Europe.

Recognition –
This white birch bolete is recognized for its small size, having a hat of 3-6 cm in diameter, convex, of whitish color then beige light pink, yellow-olive that becomes blue-green patches in old specimens. It has a velvety cuticle with dry and smooth with wet weather. The tubules are adnate, long, whitish, dark with age. The pores are whitish, then cream-pink. The stem measures 6-14 x 1-1.5 cm, whitish in color, which turns slightly red, then becomes olive from the apex, adorned with small scales, first whitish then reddish brown, rust colored in the adult. The meat is white, which is slightly reddened in the stem and yellow in the hat, then becomes yellow-olive colored in the mature specimens.
Under the microscope there are spores of 14-19 x 5-6 μm, smooth, elongated ellipsoidal, brown in mass.

Cultivation –
Leccinum holopus is not a cultivated fungus.

Uses and Traditions –
White birch bolete is a small-sized mushroom that is easy to recognize due to the completely white hat and stem colors, the fact that it is covered with a bluish patch, and as mentioned above it is mainly found under the birches. It is however a quite rare mushroom.
Although commonly considered edible, opinions vary depending on the culinary taste of the areas where it is harvested. In any case it should be harvested optimally when it is young, before the meat becomes too spongy and before the larvae of the insects infest it.
This mushroom has a sweet taste.

Preparation Mode –
The white birch bolete can be prepared like other leccini and has the advantage of keeping the meat unchangeable and compact when cooked. It can be preserved dried, rather drying it enhances the flavor, but decreases the sweet taste of fresh mushrooms.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

 



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