Described based on a collection made in El Dorado County, California, USA (Thiers 1975).
Leccinum in general are taxonomically confounded by lack of informative morphological criteria, as well as poorly-known and competing species concepts.
Leccinum montanum should be compared genetically with L. californicum; a white-capped but otherwise very similar species, which co-occurs with this species at two of the four known locations in California. It should also be compared to other Leccinum described from eastern North American aspen forests.
Leccinum montanum is a bolete described from aspen groves in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. There are currently nine locations reported from across the western USA mountains (Mycoportal 2021). It is likely more common than records indicate.
Leccinum are in need of modern taxonomic work, especially species reported from California. Until such time, it’s probably best to list this species as Data Deficient (DD).
Known from three locations in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, and six highly disjunct populations in the Cascade Range and Rocky Mountains, and a single collection from Alaska. This species is probably widespread with quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the western mountains.
Population appears to occur over a widespread area, but very little is known about trends of this species. No collections have been made in California since 1983, although this may be a case of mycologist not looking for, or identifying it correctly. Targeted surveys to known locations are needed to assess.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Fruitbodies solitary or scattered in soil and duff; presumably ectomycorrhizal and associated with Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) in higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, Cascades and Rocky Mountains. Fruiting in summer and early fall.
Decline of aspen groves in the Sierra Nevada, due in part to conifer encroachment from fire suppression, and cattle grazing.
This species was included in A Field Guide to the Rare Fungi of California’s National Forests (Siegel et al. 2019), and was recommended for the Forest Service sensitive species list.
Although aspen restoration projects are ongoing, effort should be made to cause minimal damage to the duff and under story.
Targeted surveys of aspen groves in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Range in California. Modern taxonomic work on Leccinum.
Leccinum are edible, and occasionally collected by foragers.
MyCoPortal. 2021. Mycology Collections Portal. Available at: http://mycoportal.org
Siegel, N., Vellinga, E.C., Schwarz, C., Castellano, M.A. and Ikeda, D. 2019. A Field Guide to the Rare Fungi of California’s National Forests. Bookmobile: Minneapolis, MN. 313 p.
Thiers, H.D. 1975. California Mushrooms A Field Guide to the Boletes. Hafner Press.