Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Truffles and Truffle-Like Species

Local Species Name Family Local Host

Alpova alexsmithii

- Paxillaceae "Pinaceae spp., particularly Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock) and Tsuga mertensiana (Mountain Hemlock)" [E-flora]
Alpova diplophloeus red gravel  Paxillaceae Alnus [E-flora]
Elaphomyces granulatus common deer truffle  Elaphomycetaceae  ?
Elaphomyces muricatus marbled deer truffle  Elaphomycetaceae  ?
Gautieria monticola - Gomphaceae conifers; Pseudotsuga (Douglas-fir), Tsuga (hemlock), Pinus (pine), Abies (fir)[E-flora]
Gautieria otthii - Gomphaceae Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine) and other Pinaceae [E-flora]
Gautieria plumbea - Gomphaceae conifers [E-flora]

Geopora cooperi [E-flora]

Fuzzy Truffle Pyronemataceae hardwoods and especially conifers; willow and aspen, Pinus (pine), Pseudotsuga (Douglas-fir), Abies (fir), Tsuga (hemlock), Larix (larch), Salix (willow) [E-flora]

Hydnangium carneum [E-flora]

- Hydnangiaceae "various hardwoods, but associated essentially with eucalyptus" [E-flora]
Hydnotrya cerebriformis - Helvellaceae  conifer forests [E-flora]
Hydnotrya cubispora - Helvellaceae  "Pinus (pine), Abies (fir), Pseudotsuga (Douglas-fir), Tsuga (hemlock), Picea (spruce);" [E-flora]
Hydnotrya variiformis - Helvellaceae  "Pseudotsuga (Douglas-fir), Tsuga (hemlock), Pinus (pine), and Abies (fir)" [E-flora]
Hysterangium crassirhachis - Hysterangiaceae Quercus (oak), Acer (maple), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir), Pinus (pine), Tsuga (hemlock), Picea (spruce), Abies (fir), Larix (larch)[E-flora]
Hysterangium setchellii - Hysterangiaceae Pinaceae, Quercus densifolia [E-flora]
Leucangium carthusianum Oregon black truffle Morchellaceae conifers or oaks; Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir)[E-flora]
Sclerogaster pacificus - Sclerogastraceae ?

Tuber besseyi

- Tuberaceae  mixed woods [E-flora]
Tuber beyerlei - Tuberaceae  Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir); Corylus and Quercus spp.(with inoculation)[E-flora]
Tuber gibbosum Spring Oregon white truffle Tuberaceae  Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir), oak [E-flora]
Tuber monticola - Tuberaceae  Pinaceae [E-flora]
Tuber oregonense - Tuberaceae  Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir)[E-flora]

Rhizopogon Sp.
Local Species Name Family: Rhizopogonaceae Local Host
Rhizopogon canadensis - conifers
Rhizopogon cinnamomeus -  
Rhizopogon columbianus -  
Rhizopogon evadens -  
Rhizopogon fragrans -  
Rhizopogon hawkerae -  
Rhizopogon lutescens -  
Rhizopogon occidentalis western Rhizopogon   
Rhizopogon ochraceorubens -  
Rhizopogon parksii -  
Rhizopogon roseolus -  
Rhizopogon subareolatus -  
Rhizopogon subsalmonius -  
Rhizopogon vesiculosus -  
Rhizopogon villosulus -  
Rhizopogon vinicolor -  
Rhizopogon vulgaris -  

"Because truffles develop slowly, they are usually found at the end of the mushroom season (February-July in our area). Some, such as Tuber gibbosum, are excellent esculents; others are mediocre and still others have yet to be tried. Although a microscope is often required, truffles are not as difficult to identify as false truffles (for one thing, there are far fewer species)." [MushDemyst]

"A keystone ecosystem complex typical of Pacific Northwest old-growth forests includes northern spotted owl and northern flying squirrel, ectomycorrhizal fungi, and Douglas fir. This ecosystem trio subset was chosen as the target for restoration and analysis (Carey 2000a). The northern flying squirrel is the primary prey of spotted owls, and hypogeous ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarps (truffles) feed the squirrel. These in turn spread spores and associated microorganisms throughout the forest (Li et al. 1986). The fungi have been shown to help move photosynthetic carbohydrates from trees to the mycorrhizosphere, supporting a vast array of soil organisms (Ingham and Molina 1991)." [Apostol RPNW]

"The fruiting bodies of a few gasteromycete species mature beneath the soil surface. These are called false truffles, and are attractive lures for rodents, which disperse their spores for the nutritional reward of the gasteromycete’s flesh. Genetic data show that some false truffles are closely related to boletes." [Bloomfields Money]

"Fungus and mammal have affected one another’s evolutionary histories: the truffles have become more attractive to rodents and the rodents have become better at finding truffles. Interestingly, insects flit above the buried fruiting bodies—and continue to do so today—homing upon the same chemicals that have captivated them since they crawled in and out through the maw of the open fruiting body." [Bloomfields Money]


Truffle-Like Species, Their Host Plants, Recorded Locations, and Known Uses

Mattirolomyces mulpu N/A Australian Desert [Trappe et al. 2008] Food - "cooked in hot sand, ashes, or coals, and then eaten." [Trappe et al. 2008]
Eremiomyces echinulatus (formerly Choiromyces echinulatus)
Family: Pezizaceae
N/A "Kalahari of Botswana and Northern Cape Province of South Africa, June." [Trappe et al. 2008(2)] N/A
Kalaharituber pfeilii (formerly Terfezia pfeilii)
Kalahari Truffle
N/A "Kalahari and adjacent arid areas of Botswana, Namibia, and Northern Cape Province of South Africa; typically in sandy soil, April through July." [Trappe et al. 2008(2)] ???
Mattirolomyces austroafricanus (Syn: Terfezia austroafricanus) N/A "Northern Cape Province of South Africa, in arid savannah; April." [Trappe et al. 2008(2)] ????
Diehliomyces microsporus
False Truffle
N/A "It is found primarily in warmer countries and always is associated with cultivated mushrooms (van Zaayen and van der Pol-Luiten 1977)." [BOF Elsevier] N/A

Leucangium carthusianum (L. R. Tulasne and C. Tulasne) Paoletti OREGON BLACK TRUFFLE The Oregon black truffe (formerly classified in the genus Picoa) is among our most beautiful fungi. The often large fruitbodies are brown to black with a smooth to rough exterior that encloses a solid, gray to olive or brownish gleba, which is separated into pockets by pallid sterile veins. The spores are smooth and very large (up to 100 µm long). Leucangium carthusianum often occurs in association with Douglas-fir along the coast but can also be found in urban areas. People who excavate them from their garden (which must have a suitable tree nearby) often think they have found a lump of coal. As with all truffes, this species has a strong pungent fruity (often like pine apple) odor when mature. It is a highly sought-after edible and is collected commercially. [Trudell MPNW]

Geopora cooperi Harkness Geopora cooperi is a fuzzy truffe that can become the size of a baseball. It typically is nearly spherical but often has an irregular to convoluted surface due to infolding of the peridium. The outer surface is brownish and covered with a mass of coarse flattened hairs. The gleba is whitish and pale brown and composed of multiple chambers. Similar to many cup-fungi and unlike most truffes, G. cooperi produces long cylindrical asci, each with eight smooth, broad elliptical spores that are forcibly ejected at maturity. It is ectomycorrhizal with conifers, widely distributed, and occurs almost year-round. The smell of G. cooperi is faintly aromatic, and it is considered a good edible species that can be used much like morels. [Trudell MPNW]

Truncocolumella citrina Zeller Truncocolumella citrina has a yellow felty peridium, and the gleba is gray to olive or brown, chambered, with a distinctive pale yellow to yellow columella. The spores and most other features are very similar to those of rhizopogons; the major difference is the presence of a columella. Truncocolumella citrina is common under Douglas-fir on the west side of the Cascade crest and also extends into interior conifer forests as far as the Rocky Mountains. The potato-like fruit-bodies are often found partially exposed at the surface of the soil or litter. They are edible, but are reported to have little flavor. [Trudell MPNW]

Desert Truffles

"Unlike the fancy truffles mentioned above, which are usually sliced fresh over foods or used sparingly to flavor them, desert truffles are the food. What they lack in pungent aroma they more than make up for in abundance. For millennia, species of Tirmania and Terfezia have provided important sustenance to large populations in the arid and semi-arid areas of the Middle East from the south and east of the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. Desert truffles are the work-horse of the truffle world, producing large numbers of tubers in from February to April. Both nomadic and sedentary populations who live near the desert depend on them for food." [Shavit,2008]

"A recent revision of Australian species (ibid, 2008) indicates that: ‘Seven truffle species (three of which are new to science) belonging to six genera (one being new to science) have been discovered.... Desert truffles of the Australian Outback, once a cherished food resource for diverse Aboriginal ethnic groups, currently have little or no value for contemporary Aboriginal communities either as a gathered food or as a saleable or even tradable commodity (Liddell, pers. observation). Likewise, no attempts have been made to commercially market Australian desert truffles in contrast to their African and Middle Eastern counterparts.’" [Albuquerque IE]


"The genus Terfezia includes 12 species (Kirk et al. 2001) , of which only 3 (T. arenaria (Moris) Trappe, T. claveryi Chatin and T. leptoderma Tul. & Tul.) are commercially valued in Spain because of their gastronomic interest and their crop yields. Two other species, T. boudieri Chatin and T. olbiensis Nees, which are also harvested for consumption purposes, have a lower commercial impact given their limited presence and the fact that they are poorer in taste than the other species (Gutiérrez et al. 2004) . The truffle variety Picoa lefebvrei (Pat.) Maire is widely distributed and is known to have excellent antioxidant properties (Murcia et al. 2002) ; however, is not marketed because of its small size." [Azcon-Aguilar MFPEI]


Page last modified on Sunday, August 15, 2021 9:30 PM