The chrome bolete, Harrya chromapes, in Arizona

Note: Thanks to AMC member Bill Warner for sending along this informative report and superb photos from a recent visit to the Mogollon Rim region.

The “chrome bolete” or “chrome-footed bolete,” Harrya chromapes, is a beautiful bolete that looks like someone messed with the color balance on a Leccinum, complete with pink cap, pink scabers and a shocking chrome yellow stem base and mycelium. In fact, this species has bounced about between the genera Boletus, Tylopilus and Leccinum before finally being split off into Harrya last year along with one other species based on DNA evidence. Most guidebooks list it as either Tylopilus (e.g. Arora‘s tome) or Leccinum, and give a range of eastern USA to Texas, even though it has been known from Arizona for some time, including in published records.

On August 30, 2013, I was surprised to find two small groupings of this cutie up on the Young Road near Hwy. 260, along with some aspen boletes (L. insigne, mostly buttons). Because of the very unusual coloration, pale tubes, pink scabers and yellow base, lack of staining upon bruising (even the pores), Harrya chromapes is an easy-to-identify bolete. According to some on-line sources, it is supposed to be a good edible, but prone to being wormy. I can attest to both attributes: in taste the small uninfested portions I could salvage had a flavor similar to king boletes (B. edulis), but with a slight lemony note. In any event, keep your eyes out for this species as it is both beautiful and tasty.

Good hunting!

Bill Warner

About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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