A bolete is a type of fungal fruiting body characterized by the presence of a pileus that is clearly differentiated from the stipe, with a spongy surface of pores (rather than gills) on the underside of the pileus. "Bolete" is also the English common name for fungal species having this kind of morphology.
The boletes are classified in the Boletales, however not all members of that order are boletes; recent discoveries in the micromorphology and molecular phylogeny of this group have established that it also contains a large number of agarics, gasteromycetes, and other fruiting body morphologies. Similar pore surfaces exist in the polyporales and other other orders, but these species usually lack the overall physical structure of boletes, have much firmer (often woody) flesh, or are otherwise differentiated.
Generally the term refers to members of the genus Boletus, but as superficially similar fungi have been placed in other genera many of them have retained the common name. These include:
- Birch bolete - Leccinum scabrum
- Bitter bolete - Tylopilus felleus
- Manzanita bolete - Leccinum manzanitae
- Rhubarb bolete - Boletellus obscureococcineus