Are Boletes, Chanterelles, etc. Mushrooms?




Dear Incredible Mushrooms,

In one of my mushroom identification book, the book labeled Boletes as separate from mushrooms because they have tubes instead of gills. It also said that Chanterelles are not mushrooms.

I found this rather confusing because I had thought that mushroom was a blanket term for all macrofungi.

If you could give some clarification on this matter as to whether Boletes, Chanterelles, etc. are mushrooms, or are a separate thing, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

A Mushroom Enthusiast


Great question… and yes, confusing.

You’ll pretty much provided the answer yourself.

In a broad sense, the term "mushroom" is used as a general term for most macrofungi, encompassing a wide range of species. However, from a taxonomic perspective, the term "mushroom" refers specifically to the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies of certain fungi. In other words, not all macrofungi fall under the strict definition of "mushroom."

Boletes and Chanterelles are both types of macrofungi but differ from typical "mushrooms" in their fruiting body structure.

Boletes have a distinctive feature known as tubes, which are porous structures that contain the spores instead of gills. These tubes are found on the underside of the cap and are lined with tiny pores.

Similarly, Chanterelles are also macrofungi but possess a different fruiting body structure compared to gilled mushrooms. They have a characteristic funnel or vase-shaped cap with ridges instead of gills.

From a taxonomic standpoint, Boletes and Chanterelles are not strictly mushrooms. But for the mere mortals among us... whether we're foraging, shopping or cooking... they are definitely mushrooms. : )

I hope this helps.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Mushroom questions.

Before you go, please tell us what you want to know more about... 

Create your own user feedback survey