Distribution: Southwest United States
Habitat: Under ponderosa pines
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Boletus barrowsii is one of the “western edulis” species (see B. edulis). It is distinguished by its overall whitish to pale tan coloration, somewhat soft suede-like texture of the cap surface, strong odor when drying, and characteristic occurrence in the mountains of the southwestern U.S., most often under ponderosa pine. Generally considered to occur only in the Southwest, there have been sporadic reports of it occurring in places such as Idaho and southern California, under trees other than ponderosa pine. In Seattle, a very similar mushroom is fairly common in late spring under oaks and species of Tilia, such as lindens and basswood. Although it was felt that this had to be a different species, preliminary DNA analysis suggests it is very close to B. barrowsii.
The species name honors New Mexico mushroom-hunter and artist, Chuck Barrows, who claimed to be an old bold mushroom-hunter, contrary to the oft-quoted statement that “There are old mushroom-hunters, and there are bold mushroom-hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom-hunters.”