Book Review: Flora Fungorum Sinicorum. Vol. 63. Boletaceae (III)

Flora Fungorum Sinicorum. Vol. 63. Boletaceae (III). ed. Zhu-Liang Yang, 2023. I–XXI, 1–238 pp, 12 plates, 131 figs. Science Press, Beijing. Language Chinese. ISBN 978-7-03-075172-0. Price 280.00 元.

In this volume of the Flora Fungorum Sinicorum, the long-running series of taxonomic identification works for Chinese fungi, a part of the Boletaceae, 23 genera with a total of 129 species, is reviewed.

After an introduction to the family, encompassing the important characters for identification and the changes in knowledge of this group thanks to molecular-phylogenetic research and a more thorough coverage of the country, a key to the genera that are treated is given in this volume. It has to be said that the groups treated here are scattered throughout the Boletaceae and do not form a monophyletic clade nor a morphologically cohesive group.

A short description for each genus is given, followed by a key to the species, and species descriptions. Line drawings of the most important microscopic characters (spores, basidia, cystidia, and pileipellis, sometimes also stipitipellis) are provided, and colour plates of the basidiomata are presented at the end of the book. The latter give a good impression of the diversity in shapes, colours, and textures of this group; for instance: the colours range from white, yellow, and red, to brilliant orange and from brown to blue-green or pink-purple. Not only are boletoid forms included, also secotioid species, and of course the gilled species of Phylloporus are present as well.

Which boletes are treated here: the most species-rich genera are Boletus, Butyriboletus, Retiboletus, and Tylopilus, Phylloporus and Xerocomus; on the other side of the spectre is Mucilopilus, represented by one species.

This book is another testament to the richness and diversity of boletes in eastern Asia, and an example of thorough taxonomic research on a diverse and fascinating group of fungi with importance for forestry and the small-scale economy of the rural areas.

Unfortunately for western mycologists, the text is written in Chinese, and those interested to learn more about the geographic distribution and ecology of the species treated here have to look for other publications. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to more books on boletes in this series, especially updates on earlier published volumes incorporating data from modern research, and I am sure that many more species also in the genera treated here will be discovered!

Else C. Vellinga
861 Keeler Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94708 USA