Boletopsis spp. (Boletopsis grisea)

Boletopsis grisea
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Boletopsis spp. fact file

Boletopsis spp. description

GenusBoletopsis (1)

This squat fungus produces broad, pale grey caps, the surfaces of which are often cracked into scales (2). The solid stipe (or stem) is short and located in the centre of the cap; it is greyish in colour (2).

WARNING: many species of fungus are poisonous or contain chemicals that can cause sickness. Never pick and eat any species of fungus that you cannot positively recognise or are unsure about. Some species are deadly poisonous and can cause death within a few hours if swallowed.

Cap diameter: 5 – 15 cm (2)
Stem (stipe) height: 3 – 7 cm (2)

Boletopsis spp. biology

Fungi are an enormous group of organisms that are so distinctive from both plants and animals that they are placed in their own kingdom. The main body of the fungus is composed of a multitude of microscopic threads (known as ‘hyphae’) which are located within the substrate (4). The fruiting body (such as the more familiar mushroom or toadstool) is produced to release spores and thus allows reproduction to occur. Fungi feed by absorbing nutrients from their surroundings.

Boletopsis grisea produces its squat fruiting bodies annually, between August and November (2).


Boletopsis spp. range

Boletopsis grisea is found in the boreal forests of Europe, reaching into Asia and North America (2).


Boletopsis spp. habitat

Boletopsis grisea has a mycorrhizal relationship with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and is therefore always found associated with this tree (3). These fungi are found in forests that are generally dominated by pine, with lichens and poor acidic soils (3).


Boletopsis spp. status

Short-listed for inclusion in the Bern Convention by the European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF), and included on the Red Lists of 5 countries (3).


Boletopsis spp. threats

This fungus is threatened by the destruction of the pine forests of its habitat (2). Air pollution and the overuse of fertilisers pose additional threats to survival (2).


Boletopsis spp. conservation

More sustainable forest management and a reduction in air pollution would help to secure the future of this fungus (2). In addition, Boletopsis grisea is a candidate species for listing in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, otherwise known as the Bern Convention (3) (5).



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A fungus that forms a close physical association with the roots of a plant, this relationship is mutually beneficial.
Microscopic particles involved in both dispersal and reproduction. They comprise a single or group of unspecialised cells and do not contain an embryo, as do seeds.
Taiga/ or Boreal forest
The sub-arctic forest of the high northern latitudes that surrounds the pole and is mainly composed of coniferous trees.


  1. National Biodiversity Network, Species Dictionary (July, 2003)
  2. European Council for Conservation of Fungi (ECCF) (2001) Datasheets of threatened mushrooms of Europe, candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Convention. Bern Convention Standing Committee.
  3. The distribution, status and habitat requirement of the 33 fungal candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Bern Convention. (June 2003)
  4. Pegler, D. & Spooner, B. (1992) The Mushroom Identifier. Apple Press, London.
  5. Bern Convention (June, 2003)

Image credit

Boletopsis grisea  
Boletopsis grisea

© Ingemar Andersson / Irene Andersson

Irene Andersson


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