11 October 2022

Big bloomin' mushrooms around the yard

I took these photos in our yard yesterday morning. I believe these mushrooms are members of the bolete family, some of which are highly prized for their taste, some of which are toxic, and some of which are edible but don't taste good to most people.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I have little knowledge of wild mushrooms, in fact. Take what I've written here with a huge grain of salt. Don't eat wild mushrooms unless you have the assurance of an expert — in France, a pharmacist, for example — that the ones you've found are edible and not poisonous.

     This mushroom, with a cap that's four or five inches in diameter, seems to be one that most people find too bitter to eat. Others find them palatable, and they are not toxic. It's called le bolet amer in French — the bitter bolete — if indeed this is one. Don't take my word for it. According to its Wikipedia article, the bitter bolete's cap greatly resembles the cap of the king bolete (porcino, pl. porcini to Americans), known in France as the cèpe de Bordeaux, one of the finest edible mushrooms. "The pore surface" — the underside of the cap — "is initially white before turning pinkish with age," Wikipedia says.

I don't know what this is. It's enormous. To me it looks like two boletes mating. Or conjoined-twin boletes. Ha ha.

I think this one might not only be edible but might also taste good. It might be a cèpe de Bordeaux, but I think it's more likely a bolet bai (bay bolete), which is almost as tasty but not quite. Actually, some people can't taste the difference. I'm not going to eat it, that's for sure. Anyway, enjoy the pictures but don't put much stock in what I've written here. Maybe somebody can correct my errors.


  1. I’m happy to just buy them at the store, already verified LOL… I wonder how many people died from mushrooms, in the Middle Ages.

  2. We're told over here in US, as you mention, that French pharmacists can identify these for you. Do they do that if you just walk in with fungi? The only one I can identify unfailingly are oyster mushrooms which grow in our neighborhood in the old trees; and, I suppose I could identify a morel but I never see those. The people I know who pick them don't share their hunting grounds.

    1. When a friend gave us mushrooms that she had gathered in a nearby forest, I just put them in a bag and headed for the pharmacy, unannounced. No problem. I assume the pharmacist would recognize those that are edible and worth eating, as well as those that are toxic or worse. There are hundreds if not thousands of species of mushrooms. Rare would be the person who would know them all.

  3. I love these photos. My brother with behaviors similar to some on the autism spectrum heard when he was a child about poison mushrooms. He has refused therefore to eat any his entire life. His obsession got to me a bit, and I’m now averse to eating a mushroom someone picked themselves. But they sure are beautiful.

  4. That’s quite a crop of mushrooms!

  5. Picture 2 is an unusual looking mushroom - the white one. I don't think pharmacists in the states are going to be much help identifying mushrooms, lol. We know a guy on our street who hunts for mushrooms on the weekends and claims he sells them to restaurants, but who knows.

  6. Those are surely boletes, which which ones? I picked some here in the Vaucluse and took them to the pharmacy, and not one of them was edible, although none were poisonous. The safe ones are chanterelles, trompette de mort, and pied de mouton. Nothing else looks like them, as far as I can tell. I was taught a bit about mushrooms by a local man who took me shrooming. Mostly, I think its better to buy them.
    bonnie near carpentras


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