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The Violet-Grey Bolete
Tylopilus plumbeoviolaceous

Pretty, but don't touch!

A purple jewel on the forest floor



Color: grey violet color; becomes more brown with age

Height: up to 15 cm

Cap diameter: up to 15 cm

Spore print: flesh to pink

Edibility: Inedible due to bitterness, but not toxic

What's in a  [common] name?

Given its appearance, it is no surprise that this mushroom was first placed in the genus, Boletus. In 1936, American mycologists, Walter H. Snell and Esther A. Dick, named this pretty fungus B. felleus forma plumbeoviolaceous and then changed the species name to plumbeoviolaceous in 1941. It wasn’t until 1947 that another American mycologist, Rolf Singer, moved it into the genus Tylopilus where it remains to this day.

Description and Ecology

The violet-grey bolete can be found east of the Rocky Mountains from August into the fall. It forms mycorrhizal associations with oak trees, but can be found under other hardwood trees as well.


The cap is convex and gets darker and more brown with age. The flesh is white when sliced through. The stem is marbled purple and white, with the slightest webbing, and enlarges toward the base. The pore surface is whitish to pinkish, also becoming more brown with age. Its mycelium below ground is white.

Xanthoconium purpureum variety.JPG

The Violet Grey Bolete

Tylopilus plumbeoviolaceous

Photo taken by author.

Culinary Uses

This mushroom should not be used for cooking. While it is not known to be toxic, multiple sources cite this mushroom as inedible due to bitterness. I have not tried it, so I cannot comment on its taste. Some sources have suggested using this mushroom to make bitters for cocktails, but I have never done that and suggest leaving this mushroom to perform its mycorrhizal role for the environment.


The Violet Grey Bolete

Tylopilus plumbeoviolaceous

Photo taken by author.

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