Leccinum monticola Halling & G. M. Mueller, Mycologia 95: 493. 2003.
Pileus 5.515 cm broad, at first obtusely convex, with age plano-convex, dry to moist to subviscid (when wet), even, becoming areolate; at first disc brownish orange, then agate brown to brown to brownish orange to light brown; margin even, when young brownish orange, then agate brown to brown to brownish orange to light brown; surface appressed fibrillose to appressed fibrillose scaly to appressed tomentose to tomentose, becoming finely fibrillose; sterile appendiculate flaps present (conspicuous when young); with NH4 pale brown. Flesh 1530 mm thick, white, staining fuscous to pink; odor mild; taste mild. Hymenophore tubulose, free to adnexed. Tubes 1030 mm long, pale yellow, becoming light brown to pinkish gray, near bronze-yellow when injured; pores 23 mm wide, white, then light brown to pinkish gray, brown when bruised. Stipe (6.5)1013(15) cm long, 1530 mm wide, subclavate to clavate, often curved or strict, not radicating, dry; upper half when young scabrous, white, with age scabrous, pale gray, sometimes with pale yellowish-green tints to white; lower half when young scabrous, white, with age scabrous to subglabrous, pale gray, sometimes with pale yellowish-green tints to white; scabers on upper half when young white, with age black to brown, on lower half when young white, with age black to brown; base white, staining not present or blue green (occasional). Stipe interior solid; flesh above when young white, with age white, staining fuscous; flesh at base when young white, with age white, staining fuscous. Basal mycelium white.
Basidiospores umber brown to olive brown, 1518.9 µm long, 4.95.6 µm wide, mean Q = 3.24, smooth, subfusoid to fusoid, inamyloid. Basidia clavate, hyaline, 4 -sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia 3550 µm long, 811 µm wide, more common towards edge of tubes, thin walled, hyaline to gray brown contents or honey colored contents, lageniform to fusoid to ventricose to ventricose rostrate or mucronate, gelatinization absent, encrusting pigment absent. Tube trama boletoid, hyaline, lateral strata elements 3.510.5 µm wide, subgelatinous (with age). Pileipellis hyphae a trichodermium (often collapsed with age), in KOH brownish, inamyloid; elements 3.57 µm wide, subelongate to elongated, smooth, thin walled, granular content present, not gelatinized. Pileus trama interwoven, hyaline, inamyloid, with elements 5.620 µm wide, smooth, thin walled. Stipitipellis hyphae vertically oriented, parallel, giving rise to clusters of caulocystidia, 3550 µm long, 718 µm wide, clavate to subclavate to mucronate or subfusoid (rarely), hyaline or golden yellow contents, with incrusting pigment absent. Stipe trama hyphae parallel, cylindric, hyaline, inamyloid. Clamp connections absent.
Mycorrhizal host: Pernettya, or Vaccinium.
Taxa in this section of Leccinum are characterized by a conspicuous and distinctive flap of sterile tissue at the margin of the pileus. Further, they frequently have a pileus that is colored some shade of orange or orange brown to red brown and context that changes to pink and/or fuscous when exposed. Many names have been used for "species" in this section, and the taxonomy is in disarray for taxa outside of Europe. Mycorrhizal associates in the Northern Hemisphere are typically members of the Betulaceae. However, some few species form mycorrhizal associations with members of the blueberry family (Ericaceae). Leccinum monticola occurs among páramo vegetation on the summit of Cerro de la Muerte and is most likely associated with Comarostyphylis arbutoides. Previously, we had encountered the fungus commonly at slightly lower elevations (28003000 m) in the Cordillera Talamanca where Comarostaphylis occurs with Quercus costaricensis. It has also been found on Volcan Irazu.
Cite this publication as: Halling, R. E., G. M. Mueller, and M. J. Dallwitz. 1998 onwards. Leccinum and Phylloporus in Costa Rica: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. Version: 13 Decmber 2006. http://www.nybg.org/bsci/res/hall/deltaindex.html. Dallwitz (1980) and Dallwitz, Paine and Zurcher (1993 onwards, 1998) should also be cited (see References).