Specific Habitats: Seasonality and Habitat Associations of some PNW Truffles

The following information was compiled by NATS Scientific Advisor Dr. James Trappe and Trufflemaster Matt Trappe for the NATS Field Guide to North American Truffles. The Field Guide is fully illustrated with color photos, many of which are also available in our Photo Gallery. Sixty-three common truffles are listed below, alphabetically by genus.


Name: Alpova diplophloeus
Group: Basidiomycota, Boletaceae
Season: May-Dec.
Habitat: With alders
Spores: 4-6 x 1.8-2.8 m, bacilliform, colorless
Features: Peridium tan and staining pink to red in youth where bruised, becoming reddish brown with age. Gleba solid, gelatinous, dull yellow with white marbling when first exposed but quickly turning dark reddish brown.
Comments: Always under alders; distributed broadly in North America and Europe. The change of color when the gleba is cut open occurs quickly. It is too small and flavorless to have much culinary value.

Name: Arcangeliella camphorata
Group: Basidiomycota, Russulaceae
Season: Oct-Mar.
Habitat: Douglas-fir
Spores: 8-10.5 x 7.5-9.5 m, ellipsoid, with amyloid reticulation
Features: Rounded with a vestigial stem and columella; peridium light to deep reddish brown. Gleba of fresh, moist specimens produces a milky latex.
Comments: A hypogeous relative of the mushroom genus Lactarius, as indicated by its latex production. The odor of fresh specimens is mild, but despite the species name, dried specimens have an odor of maple syrup. It occurs west of the Cascade Range from southern Oregon to southern British Columbia.

Name: Arcangeliella crassa
Group: Basidiomycota, Russulaceae
Season: June-Oct.
Habitat: Douglas-fir, pines, true firs
Spores: 8-11 x 6.5-8 m, ellipsoid, with amyloid reticulation
Features: In the shape of a mushroom but with a much reduced stem and locules instead of gills on the underside of the cap; peridium brownish white to light brown
Comments: A close relative of the mushroom genus Lactarius, it exudes a white latex where cut when fresh and moist. Found in the Cascade Mountains of northern Oregon south to California's central Sierras.

Name: Balsamia magnata
Group: Ascomycota, Helvellaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: Relatively warm sites with Douglas-fir, pines, true firs, possibly oaks.
Spores: 20-24 x 12-14 m, long and cylindrical to ellipsoid, colorless, smooth
Features: Rounded with a cavity on top or sides, deep reddish brown, warty. Gleba grayish white with white veins that radiate to the cavity.
Comments: This cheerfully colored little truffle fruits from Oregon south to Southern California and east to Arizona. It is always pleasant to find but is too small and scarce to be useful as food.

Name: Barssia oregonensis
Group: Ascomycota, Helvellaceae
Season: Year-round but mostly late winter to late spring
Habitat: With relatively young Douglas-fir (generally 10 to 60 yrs old)
Spores: 32 x 18 m, ellipsoid
Features: Peridium lumpy but smooth, pale pinkish cream to pinkish brown. Gleba pale with white veins firm and brittle; with cavity on top or one side.
Comments: This species occurs only in the Pacific Northwest where Douglas-fir is present. It commonly fruits in habitats that also produce Oregon white truffles and similarly seems not to occur in old-growth forests. It has a nice texture but little flavor when added raw to salads or cooked dishes.

Name: Cortinarius magnivelatus
Group: Basidiomycota, Cortinariaceae
Season: Apr-Sep.
Habitat: Montane with pine, true fir, hemlock
Spores: 9-14 x 6-8 um, elliptical, finely verrucose
Features: Hypogeous, with a distinct but reduced stem and contorted gills enclosed by a fibrillose-membranous veil.
Comments: This species is a true mushroom, not a truffle, but it never emerges above ground. Its vestigial stem and persistent veil that prevents escape of spores from the gills indicate an evolution towards a truffle-like ecology, i.e. depending on being eaten by small mammals or insects as a method of spore dispersal.

Name: Cystangium vesiculosum
Group: Basidiomycota, Russulaceae
Season: June-Nov, March
Habitat: Under Douglas-fir, hemlocks, spruces, true firs and pines
Spores: 10-14 x 8-11 m, with strongly amyloid spines 1-2 m long
Features: Peridium smooth, it and gleba white to pale cream color
Comments: Related to the mushroom genus Russula, this attractive, smooth truffle has little odor or taste and adds little to any dish in which it is added. Like Russula, it does not produce a latex. It occurs from northern California to Washington and Idaho from the Pacific Coast to middle elevations in the mountains.

Name: Elaphomyces granulatus
Group: Ascomycota, Elaphomycetaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With members of the pine family (i.e. Douglas-fir, spruces, true firs, hemlocks, etc.) and many broadleaved (oaks, beech, birch, etc.)
Spores: 24-60 m, globose, with spines sometimes aggregated into warts
Features: Peridium minutely warty, thick, leathery, andsolid white to brown in cross section; spore mass black and powdery at maturity.
Comments: perhaps the most common and widely distributed of all truffles in the Northern Hemisphere, it is particularly abundant in boreal forests in deep humus or rotten wood. Its texture and powdery interior eliminate any culinary use.

Name: Elaphomyces muricatus
Group: Ascomycota, Elaphomycetaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With members of the pine family (i.e. Douglas-fir, true firs, hemlocks, etc.) and many broadleaved species such as oaks, beech, birch, etc.
Spores: 18-35 m, globose, with spines sometimes aggregated into warts.
Features: Peridium with prominent warts thick, marbled pattern in cross section; spore mass black and powdery at maturity.
Comments: A close relative of Elaphomyces granulatus, this species occupies similar habitats and is also widely distributed but less common than the former. Neither have culinary value.

Name: Endogone flammicorona
Group: Zygomycota, Endogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With members of the pine family (i.e. Douglas-fir, true firs, hemlocks, etc.) and many broadleaved species such as oaks, beech, birch, etc
Spores: 52-120 x 42-99 m, globose to ellipsoid or obovoid, each one enclosed within tightly appressed hyphae that in face view look like a fingerprint and in cross-section like a "crown of flames"
Features: Irregularly shaped; peridium thin and delicate in youth, collapsing by maturity; spores large enough to be easily seen with a hand lens.
Comments: Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, it is most often found in young stands. Sometimes it fruits by the tens of thousands in conifer nurseries. Too small and full of grit for use in cooking.

Name: Fevansia aurantiaca
Group: Basidiomycota, possibly Boletaceae
Season: Aug-Nov.
Habitat: Upper elevation Douglas-fir and true fir
Spores: 10-13 x 3.5-5 m, smooth, fusiform
Features: Peridium pale orange. Gleba of yellow spherical locules.
Comments: This rare truffle has been found only in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon in relatively mature forests. Known from only 5 collections, it is one of the rarer species known. Its culinary value is unevaluated, but it does not have a distinct fragrance. Named after NATS founding member Frank Evans.

Name: Gastroboletus subalpinus
Group: Basidiomycota, Boletaceae
Season: Jul-Oct.
Habitat: Whitebark and lodgepole pines, true firs, mountain hemlocks at relatively high elevations to tree line
Spores: 10-18 x 4.5-8 m, ellipsoid to oblong or ovate, smooth, colorless
Features: In the form of a contorted Boletus, with a very reduced stem and long, contorted, closed tubes; cap brown, stem dirty white; odor and taste similar to Boletus edulis.
Comments: Though not a truffle, this species is always hypogeous and represents the mushrooms that have mutated to a belowground habit. It is a truffle in the making and relies on being eaten for its spore dispersal.

Name: Gautieria monticola
Group: Basidiomycota, Gautieriaceae
Season: Mar-Nov.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlocks, pines, true firs
Spores: 10-16 x 7-9 m, elongate citriform, longitudinally ridged
Features: Peridium thin and disappearing early in development to reveal the outermost chambers of the firm, rubbery, cinnamon colored gleba with its inconspicuous to distinct white to translucent columella.
Comments: Among the more common spring and early summer truffles of western North American truffles, this species emits a strong, obnoxious odor when fully mature, especially when warmed such as in a car that has been sitting in the sun. When cooked, it loses the odor but also whatever other culinary value it might otherwise have had.

Name: Gautieria parksiana
Group: Basidiomycota, Gautieriaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, pines, hemlocks, true firs, spruces and oaks
Spores: 14-24 x 9.5-12 m
Features: Irregularly globose with a well developed, persistent, white to brown, cottony peridium. Gleba firm, rubbery, cinnamon colored, with an obscure to prominent columella; base with a robust rhizomorph.
Comments: Low to high elevations in western North America but less common than G. monticola, from which it differs by its persistent peridium and larger spores. Its culinary value is similar to that of the latter species.

Name: Genabea cerebriformis
Group: Ascomycota, Pyronemataceae
Season: Mar-Oct.
Habitat: With pine, Douglas-fir, oak
Spores: 29-34 m, globose, with densely crowded spines 2-3 m tall
Features: Dull grayish yellow, convoluted and minutely warty with many chambers, rarely more than 1 cm broad, fragile and brittle.
Comments: "Cerebriformis," (in the form of a brain), aptly describes this petit truffle, which occurs in western North America. It develops a nice, garlicky fragrance at maturity but is too small and hard to clean for use in cooking.

Name: Genea harknessii
Group: Ascomycota, Pyronemataceae
Season: Mar-Oct.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, oaks
Spores: 25-32 x 21-29 m, subglobose to ellipsoid, ornamented with cones mostly 1-3 m tall and broad.
Features: Charcoal black, warty exterior and convoluted-hollow, the interior of the hollow also black and warty, the base with a thick tuft of hyphae; flesh thin, white to gray, fragile and brittle.
Comments: Odor at maturity garlicky, but specimens are hard to find and small, hence not usually found in enough quantity to use in cooking.

Name: Genea intermedia
Group: Ascomycota, Pyronemataceae
Season: Feb-Aug, mostly Apr-Jun.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, true firs and oaks
Spores: 36-40 m, globose, ornamented with broad, rounded warts
Features: Vinaceous red, warty exterior and convoluted-hollow, the interior of the hollow also vinaceous and warty, lacking a basal tuft of hyphae; flesh white, fragile and brittle.
Comments: Small and lacking distinctive odor and flavor, but attractive to see.

Name: Geopora cooperi
Group: Ascomycota, Pyronemataceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With pines, Douglas-fir, true firs, hemlocks, larch
Spores: 16-21 m, ellipsoid, smooth
Features: Peridium brown and minutely but distinctly hairy (use hand lens). Gleba white with some brown veins, of tightly contorted chambers.
Comments: The odor varies from undetectable to radish-like or garlicky. The surface hairs hold soil and sand grains, so if used in cooking it is best peeled. A second form is similar but has subglobose to globose spores.

Name: Gymnomyces abietus
Group: Basidiomycota, Russulaceae
Season: Aug-Dec.
Habitat: Montane to subalpine conifer forests with true fir
Spores: 8-14 x 7-11 m, globose, with amyloid spines and often a partial reticulum
Features: Peridium white to yellowish. Gleba orange yellow.
Comments: Widely distributed in its habitats in the Cascade and Sierra Mountains. It has little odor or taste.

Name: Gymnomyces brunnescens
Group: Basidiomycota, Russulaceae
Season: Jul-Dec.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir
Spores: 8-12 x 8-10 m, globose, with amyloid spines 1 m tall
Features: Peridium white, bruising brown and becoming brown overall by maturity. Gleba initially brownish white, soon developing brown areas and at maturity brown overall.
Comments: One of the more common hypogeous fungi in Douglas-fir forests of western Washington, western Oregon and northern California, it has no distinctive odor or taste.

Name: Hydnangium carneum
Group: Basidiomycota, Tricholomataceae
Season: Nov-May
Habitat: With Eucalyptus
Spores: 10-18 m, globose, spiny
Features: Peridium pinkish, felty. Gleba pink, often with sterile base and sometimes with a columella.
Comments: Closely related to the mushroom genius Laccaria, native to Australia but introduced around the world as a hitch-hiking symbiont on Eucalypt roots. Lacking distinctive odor or taste.

Name: Hydnotrya variiformis var. pallida
Group: Ascomycota, Discinaceae
Season: May-Oct.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlocks, pines, true firs, often in well decomposed wood and other organic materials on the forest floor
Spores: 25-30 x 10-15 m, ellipsoid, colorless to pale yellow and enclosed in an amorphous sheath decorated with scattered, tiny pits.
Features: White to cream color, convoluted with several chambers, fragile and brittle
Comments: This pale form is common in low to subalpine elevations, as is the equally common typical form that is orange brown and has orange brown spores. Neither form has a distinctive odor or flavor.

Name: Hymenogaster subalpinus
Group: Basidiomycota, Cortinariaceae
Season: Oct-Mar.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir at low to middle elevations
Spores: 20-30 x 14-16 m, roughened, narrowly citriform with a truncate-cupped base
Features: Peridium dull brownish white to yellowish brown, bruising brown. Gleba dark brown, soft, with an unpleasant odor and soft texture.
Comments: The most common winter species in the Pacific Northwest, it is related to the mushroom genus Hebeloma. The odor may be pleasant to squirrels, but it definitely is not to humans. That, together with its soft texture, leaves it culinary appeal strictly to wild creatures.

Name: Hymenogaster sublilacinus
Group: Basidiomycota, Cortinariaceae
Season: Mar-Aug.
Habitat: Mostly pines and true firs but also other conifers and moderate to high elevations
Spores: 9-13 x 6.5-8 m, ellipsoid, tawny brown, minutely warty
Features: Peridium initially white, then becoming lilac to violet, by maturity mostly yellowish brown. Gleba firm with small chambers, cinnamon colored. Odor pleasant, mild to sweet or resinous.
Comments: The fruiting bodies can be quite large and colorful, so it is always a pleasure to find them. The firm texture and pleasant fragrance suggest good possibilities for cooking, but no data have been found on that.

Name: Hysterangium coriaceum
Group: Basidiomycota, Hysterangiaceae
Season: Year-round, but mostly in spring
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlocks, spruces, pines, true firs and larches
Spores: 11-14 x 4-5 m, smooth, fusoid, enclosed in a wrinkled outer skin
Features: Peridium white bruising pink to red or rosy brown, separating easily from the dark olive green, very firm and rubbery gleba with its narrow, dendroid columella.
Comments: The most common spring truffle in the western USA, its colonies often produce dozens of small sporocarps nested in a white mycelium in the soil. Although it has little odor or flavor, its chewy texture provides an interesting additive to omelettes or scrambled eggs. A similar species, H. separabile, which has larger spores, occurs under oaks.

Name: Hysterangium crassirhachis
Group: Basidiomycota, Hysterangiaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, pines, hemlocks, spruces, true firs and larches
Spores: 11-15 x 4-5.5 m, smooth, ellipsoid
Features: Peridium white bruising pink to brown, separating easily from the dark olive green, very firm and rubbery gleba with its usually thick, dendroid columella.
Comments: Similar to H. coriaceum in habitat, appearance and culinary value. The two species are only distinguishable by microscope.

Name: Hysterangium occidentale
Group: Basidiomycota, Hysterangiaceae
Season: Apr-Oct, mostly spring
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, pines and oaks low elevations
Spores: 12-16 x 5-8 m, smooth, fusoid to narrowly citriform
Features: Subglobose to irregular, the peridium white to pale brown and bruising brown, easily separable from the firm, pink to pale, brownish red gleba with its rubbery columella; odor absent or pleasant.
Comments: Among the larger species of the genus (up to 6 cm broad), H. occidentale occurs from western Oregon through California to Arizona. It's size and pleasant fragrance might commend it for table use, but it is rather rare.

Name: Kalapuya brunnea
Group: Ascomycota, Morchellaceae
Season: Sep-Feb.
Habitat: With sapling to large Douglas-firs in moist forests
Spores: 45 x 30 m, smooth, ellipsoid
Features: Up to 3 inches broad, lumpy; peridium orangish-brown, granular to warty. Gleba with gray pockets of spores separated by white veins, firm, with garlicky odor.
Comments: Known only from western Oregon and northern California in lowland to foothill forests, this species is popular for table use and is commercially harvested. It often fruits in the same places and times as L. carthusianum.

Name: Leucangium carthusianum
Group: Ascomycota, Morchellaceae
Season: Sep-Feb.
Habitat: With relatively young Douglas-fir, often 4-10 inches deep in the soil
Spores: 65-80 x 25-40 m, fusiform, smooth
Features: Peridium charcoal-black and warty. Gleba solid and firm, with gray pockets of spore-bearing tissue separated by white veins.
Comments: Originally described from France but more common in the western Pacific Northwest, it has become known as the "Oregon black truffle." With its pleasant, fruity aroma (most often resembling pineapple), it is prized for table use and commercially harvested.

Name: Leucogaster citrinus
Group: Basidiomycota, Leucogastraceae
Season: Jun-Nov.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlocks, pines and true firs
Spores: 8-11 x 7-9 m, subglobose to globose, reticulate, enclosed in a smooth, loosely fitting outer skin
Features: Peridium light yellow to dark yellow. Gleba white, firm, exuding a white sticky fluid when fresh, the locules round and 1-2 mm broad.
Comments: This species is endemic from northern California to southwestern Washington from the Cascade Range to the coastal mountains. It has a pleasant fragrance, but it's sticky exudates does not invite table use, and its flavor is negligible.

Name: Leucogaster rubescens
Group: Basidiomycota, Leucogastraceae
Season: May-Dec.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlocks, pines, true firs
Spores: 10-15 x 10-13 m, subglobose to globose, reticulate, enclosed in a smooth, loosely fitting outer skin sac
Features: Peridium yellow in youth, becoming brick-red, especially when dried. Gleba white, firm, exuding a white sticky fluid, locules round and 1-2 mm broad.
Comments: Generally similar to L. citrinus except for the red coloration developing on its peridium and larger spores, this species is common throughout western North America and has also been found occasionally in eastern Canada. Its culinary value is similar to L. citrinus.

Name: Leucophleps spinispora
Group: Basidiomycota, Leucogastraceae
Season: Jun-Dec.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlocks, pines and true firs
Spores: 10-13 x 10-11 m, globose, with crowded spines, colorless
Features: Peridium white. Gleba white, exuding a sticky, white fluid when moist, locules labyrinthine and 0.5 mm broad.
Comments: Distributed in western North America over a wide range of elevations, this usually small species is often abundant in habitats where it is fruiting. When fresh it has little odor or taste, but dried specimens often have a pronounced odor of celery salt. Its culinary value has not been reported.

Name: Macowanites luteolus
Group: Basidiomycota, Russulaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, hemlock, spruce
Spores: 7-12 x 6.5-10 m, globose to subglobose, with amyloid spines
Features: Peridium pale yellow, often cracking. Gleba pale orange yellow, with a prominent, white columella and vestigial stipe; odor and taste mild.
Comments: Although recorded from western Oregon to Alaska at low to moderate elevations, this species is never abundant. Its minimal odor and taste render it uninteresting to the palate.

Name: Melanogaster tuberiformis
Group: Basidiomycota, Boletaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: Douglas-fir, pines, hemlocks, spruces and true firs
Spores: 10-15 x 6-9 m, ellipsoid to ovoid
Features: Peridium dark brown, becoming nearly blackish brown at full maturity, thick, in wet weather often with dark brown droplets of fluid on the surface. Gleba gelatinous, black with whitish veins at maturity; odor oily-metallic with a touch of garlic.
Comments: Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, this species often fruits in huge numbers in a single colony. Many collectors enjoy it as food.

Name: Pyrenogaster pityophilus
Group: Basidiomycota, Geastraceae
Season: Dec-Jun.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, pines and oaks in dry, lowland forests and woodlands
Spores: 7-8 x 4-7 m, finely warty, brown
Features: Globose to subglobose, felty, bruising pink. Gleba with a central, capitate columella from which radiate brown, elongated peridioles that contain the spores; the peridoles are easily teased apart. Odor mild.
Comments: First described from France, this peculiar species has since been found from southwest Oregon and California into Mexico. It's small size and strange gleba do not entice one to add it to the menu.

Name: Radiigera fuscogleba
Group: Basidiomycota, Geastraceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: Under Douglas-fir, pines, oaks, poplars, and many other kinds of trees at low to moderate elevations and warm sites
Spores: 4.5-8 m broad, globose, finely warty, brown
Features: Peridium brown, thick and crisp, the surface felty. Gleba with a capitate columella from which fibers radiate out to connect with the peridium, everything white in youth, the spores born among the radiating fibres and, in mass at maturity, making that part of the gleba black and powdery.
Comments: Radiigera species are essentially earthstars (Geastrum spp.) that remain hypogeous and never open up. Small mammals dig them up to eat the thick peridium and discard the spores. Early collectors would find the discarded mass of spores and fibers lying loose on logs or tree limbs and misinterpret them as a slime mold. The black mass of spores and fibers would not excite the appetite of human diners.

Name: Rhizopogon ater
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Sep-Jan.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir in moist forests
Spores: 6-7 x 2.5-3 m, ellipsoid, smooth
Features: Peridium dark brown to black. Gleba firm, charcoal grey to nearly black; odor mild to slightly sweet or onion-like.
Comments: Known only from Douglas-fir stands in western Oregon and southwestern Washington, this Rhizopogon is distinctive for its black or nearly black colors, which arise from deposits of black, granular crystals in its tissues. Its mild flavor and aroma would add little more than texture to a dish.

Name: Rhizopogon atroviolaceus
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: May-Sep.
Habitat: Douglas-fir, pines, hemlocks, true firs, spruce at moderate to high elevations
Spores: 6-8 x 3-3.6 m, smooth, colorless but becoming purple in iodine solution
Features: Peridium white in youth, soon becoming brown from a surface layer of brown fibrils, often staining vinaceous where bruised. Gleba grayish green with small chambers; odor and taste mild.
Comments: This rare species is known only from Idaho and Oregon. It is one of a small group of Rhizopogon species with spores that turn strikingly purple in iodine solutions.

Name: Rhizopogon ellenae
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With pines, Douglas-fir, true firs, madrone
Spores: 6-9 x 2.5-4 m, ellipsoid
Features: Peridium white in youth, soon becoming light brown from a surface layer of brown fibrils and staining vinaceous to light yellowish brown where bruised; usually with abundant rhizomorphs appressed over the surface. Gleba white in youth, soon becoming yellowish brown to dark brown. Odor and taste mild.
Comments: A fairly common species in the Pacific Coastal states plus Idaho and Utah, R. ellenae may be found from near sea level to high elevations in the mountains. It has no particular value for culinary purposes.

Name: Rhizopogon evadens
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With pines, Douglas-fir, hemlock, true fir in diverse habitats
Spores: 6-8 x 2-2.3 m, ellipsoid, colorless
Features: Peridium white to dirty white, staining bright red when bruised or exposed. Gleba white in youth, by maturity dark olive. Odor somewhat metallic and disagreeable.
Comments: Widely distributed across North America, this species is particularly striking because of its bright red staining soon after it is unearthed. This reaction is particularly vivid in young specimens, as shown in the photograph.

Name: Rhizopogon hawkerae
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With Douglas-fir in a wide variety of habitats
Spores: 6.5-8 x 2.2-2.8 m, ellipsoid
Features: Peridium smudgy white and staining red in youth, as shown in the photo, later brown with red tints and black bruises. Gleba white in youth, later dark olive; odor mild or slightly spicy, taste mild.
Comments: Among the earliest fruiters in autumn, this species is common over much of the range of Douglas-fir in western North America. It can get quite large; when mature it becomes firm and, when diced, adds some texture and a bit of flavor to scrambled eggs or omelettes.

Name: Rhizopogon occidentalis
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Sep-Mar.
Habitat: With 2-3 needled pines from coastal dunes to mountain forests
Spores: 5.5-7 x 2-3 m, ellipsoid, colorless
Features: Peridium yellowish white to yellow, often with orange to red areas, with yellow to orange rhizomorphs appressed to form a network over the entire surface, sometimes reddening slightly where bruised or cut. Gleba grayish olive to olive.
Comments: Common in western North America, often emergent and fruiting in large numbers. Because it can be so abundant and easily found in places, it can be used in cooking in a variety of dishes despite its mild odor and taste.

Name: Rhizopogon ochraceorubens
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Aug-Nov.
Habitat: With 2-3 needled pines in mountain forests
Spores: 6-8 x 2-3 m
Features: Peridium bright yellow in youth with yellow rhizomorphs appressed to form a network over the entire surface, the outer rhizomorphs and peridium soon darkening to red or reddish brown. Gleba at first white, by maturity olive to olive brown or brown; odor and taste mild.
Comments: Widely distributed in mountains of western North America but less common than R. occidentalis. It can become rather large (up to 4 inches broad) and often fruits in clusters that mound up the soil. It can be used in cooking much the same as R. occidentalis.

Name: Rhizopogon parksii
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Aug-Dec.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir
Spores: 4.5-6.5 x 2.3-3 m, ellipsoid
Features: Peridium smudgy white in youth, by maturity gray to brown, in youth staining slightly pink where cut or bruised, later sometimes staining gray or violet. Gleba white in youth, at maturity gray to grayish olive, sometimes with vinaceous to purple-stained areas; odor and taste mild to slightly garlicky or of spicy sausage.
Comments: Widely distributed in the Douglas-fir forests of western North America, especially from the Cascade Mountains west to the Pacific shore. Its culinary qualities are marginal.

Name: Rhizopogon salebrosus
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With pines, Douglas-fir, true firs, hemlocks, spruces
Spores: 6-10 x 2.5-3.5 m, oblong to fusoid
Features: Peridium initially white, soon becoming brownish from an overlay of brown fibrilles, thick, fibrous-felty. Gleba initially white, at maturity brown to olive brown; odor and taste mild.
Comments: One of a complex of species difficult to tell apart, R. salebrosus is widely distributed and common in western North America. Because of its generally small size and lack of interesting odor or taste, it is not often used as food by humans.

Name: Rhizopogon separabilis
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Aug-Dec.
Habitat: With 2-3 needled pines and possibly other conifers
Spores: 6.5-8 x 2.5-3 m, subellipsoid to subfusoid
Features: Peridium white in youth, becoming light yellow to brownish yellow, often with reddish brown apots. Gleba yellowish brown to cinnamon brown.
Comments: This rare species is known only from mature conifer forests of the Oregon Cascade Mountains at relatively high elevations. Its culinary qualities are unknown.

Name: Rhizopogon subsalmonius
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Mar-Sep.
Habitat: With true firs at moderate to high elevations
Spores: 6-8 x 2-2.5 m, colorless
Features: Peridium pale peach pink to light salmon colored in youth, later yellowish salmon to brownish salmon, with salmon-colored rhizomorphs appressed here and there on the peridium, thin and easily rubbed off. Gleba white in youth, becoming olive colored and finally dark yellowish brown; taste and odor mild.
Comments: The attractive peach to salmon color of the peridium delights the eye of the finder. It has been found in montane to tree-line habitats, particular with subalpine fir. Like other Rhizopogon species, it has only modest culinary virtues.

Name: Rhizopogon truncatus
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: Moderate elevations to subalpine forests, with conifers
Spores: 7-10 x 3.5-5 m, truncate-ellipsoid, dark brown
Features: Peridium bright chrome yellow with yellow rhizomorphs, associated with mats of bright yellow mycorrhizae. Gleba dark brown; odor and taste mild.
Comments: The most brightly colored hypogeous fungus in North America, it occurs in the Appalachian and western mountains, is often first noticed in soil because of its bright yellow mycelium in which fruiting bodies are embedded. Its small size, rather infrequent occurrence and mild odor and taste do not lend it much value for cooking.

Name: Rhizopogon villosulus
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With Douglas-fir through most of its range
Spores: 6-8 x 2-2.5 m, oblong, smooth, colorless
Features: Peridium dark brown and felty over an underlying whitish layer, not staining. Gleba white in youth, dark olive brown at maturity; odor at maturity of spicy, garlicky sausage, taste mild.
Comments: Found throughout most of the range of Douglas-fir in North America and introduced to Europe, Australia and New Zealand on Douglas-fir seedlings in plantations. Its aroma is interesting but dissipates during cooking.

Name: Rhizopogon vinicolor
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With Douglas-fir
Spores: 5.5-8 x 3-4.5 m, truncate-ellipsoid
Features: Peridium initially white with tinges of yellow and staining pink to vinaceous when exposed or bruised, by maturity dark vinaceous brown and darkening where bruised. Gleba light yellow in youth, by maturity dark cinnamon brown to dark olive and rubbery. Odor slightly fruity, taste mild.
Comments: Found throughout most of the range of Douglas-fir in North America and introduced to Europe, Australia and New Zealand on Douglas-fir seedlings in plantations. It's generally small size, rubbery texture and mild flavor require more effort in the kitchen than the results justify.

Name: Rhizopogon vulgaris
Group: Basidiomycota, Rhizopogonaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With pines, Douglas-fir, true firs, and other conifers in young to mature stands from sea level to subalpine
Spores: 5.5-8 x 2-3 m, subfusoid to oblong or ellipsoid
Features: Peridium in youth pale cream color and staining red where cut or bruised, at maturity dull yellow to yellowish brown. Gleba white in youth, by maturity light olive; base with a root-like cluster of rhizomorphs.
Comments: Probably the most widely distributed of all Rhizopogon spp., occurring around the Northern Hemisphere with diverse conifers; its basal, root-like cluster of rhizomorphs sets it apart from other, similarly colored species, but that cluster commonly breaks off when fruiting bodies are removed from the soil.

Name: Sarcosphaera coronaria
Group: Ascomycota, Pezizaceae
Season: Feb-Jul.
Habitat: Upper elevation to subalpine forests with pines and other conifers
Spores: 14-22 x 7-9 m, elliptical
Features: A large, fragile hollow orb with an apical, stellate-rimmed opening into the cup; outer surface dirty white to gray, the cup interior white in youth, soon becoming violet to purple.
Comments: This species is not a true truffle, because it forcibly discharges its spores to the air. When it develops under a thick layer of fir needles, however, it often matures below ground without opening and mimics a truffle.

Name: Scleroderma cepa
Group: Basidiomycota, Sclerodermataceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: Common in yards and gardens, mixed forest
Spores: 7-12 m, globose, dark brown, spiny
Features: Fruiting bodies round, up to 4 or more inches in diameter, with a sterile base that often is projected as a stem. Peridium thick and tough, smooth in youth but by maturity developing scales, dull yellow to brownish yellow, in cross-section white and slowly staining pink where cut. Gleba white and with filled chambers in youth, darkening and becoming powdery as the spores mature.
Comments: Scleroderma species are actually puffballs and not truffles, but they do begin their development below-ground and can be mistaken for truffles by novice collectors. Sclerodermas are poisonous and anyone who dines on them will be subjected to a world of gastric distress. Their toxicity seems to develop as they mature.

Name: Thaxterogaster pavelekii
Group: Basidiomycota, Cortinariaceae
Season: Mar-Jun, occasionally Nov.
Habitat: Spruce-hemlock forests in the coastal fog belt
Spores: 14-18 x 9-10 m, ornamented with narrow lines and warts, brown
Features: Yellowish gray to brown, thickly slimy visid when wet, shiny when dry. Gleba dark cinnamon, chambered, with a columella that is greatly enlarged near the base and sometimes protrudes beyond the botton of the fruiting body.
Comments: This interesting species occurs only near the coasts of Oregon and Washington. Nothing has been recorded about its culinary value, but its extremely slimy surface and close relationship to the mushroom genus Cortinarius, many species of which are toxic, discourage its use for food. Named after NATS founding member and past president Henry Pavelek, Sr.

Name: Thaxterogaster pingue
Group: Basidiomycota, Cortinariaceae
Season: Jul-Oct.
Habitat: With true fir at moderate elevations to timberline in the mountains
Spores: 12-16.5 x 8-9.5 m, ellipsoid, wrinkled/warty
Features: Peridium slimy-viscid when wet, tan to olive brown. Gleba of convoluted gills, with prominent vestigial stipe and columella.
Comments: Widely distributed in the mountains of western North America, T. pingue fruits during the summer, snow-free time. It can often be found when no other fungi are fruiting. The comments on the lack of culinary value of T. pavelekii apply here as well.

Trappea darkeri
Group: Basidiomycota, Phallaceae
Season: Apr-Nov.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, pines, true firs, hemlocks, spruces and oaks at moderate to high elevations.
Spores: 4-5 x 2-3 m, ellipsoid to oblong, smooth, colorless
Features: Fruiting bodies subglobose to irregular, rubbery, with one or more rhizomorphs emerging from the base. Peridium white but staining yellow to orange or brown where bruised, in cross-section thin with an underlying zone of white, sterile chambers. Gleba with a translucent, dendroid columella, the fertile chambers olive to bright olive green or olive brown. Odor of stinkhorns or gasoline.
Comments: This unusual truffle, characterized especially by its zone of sterile chambers underlying the peridium, is widely distributed in western North America but not abundant in any one spot. Small mammals must be attracted to it, but its unpleasant odor and rubbery texture do not recommend it for table use. Named after NATS Scientific Advisor Dr. James Trappe.

Name: Truncocolumella citrina
Group: Basidiomycota, Boletaceae
Season: Aug-Dec.
Habitat: Douglas-fir, rarely lodgepole pine, at low to moderate elevations
Spores: 6-9 x 3.5-5 m, smooth, ellipsoid
Features: Peridium lemon-yellow. Gleba brown with prominent columella, often quite large and emerging to the soil surface.
Comments: The bright color and often large size of this truffle make it easy to spot and identify. It is frequently found pushing through the soil surface on trailsides and roadcuts. It probably occurs over the range of Douglas-fir, although it has yet to be reported from Mexico. It can be used in cooking but is bland.

Name: Tuber californicum
Group: Ascomycota, Tuberaceae
Season: Oct-Jun.
Habitat: With various conifers, oaks and hazels at low to moderate elevations
Spores: 40-50 m broad, globose, with a honeycomb reticulum
Features: Globose to somewhat irregular, white to tan with whitish furrows, smooth to finely pubescent; gleba brown, marbled with white veins; aroma mild to slightly garlicky.
Comments: This petite species occurs west of the Cascade and Sierra Mountains from Washington to southern California. Its combination of globose spores and a fine pubescence of long, tapered hyphal tips separate it from other species. It tends to be solitary which, along with its small size, makes it hard to get enough to even have a taste.

Name: Tuber gardneri
Group: Ascomycota, Tuberaceae
Season: May-Sep.
Habitat: With Douglas-fir, pines, hemlocks and oaks, often in warm, dry habitats
Spores: 28-58 x 24-30 m, varying from subglobose to long-ellipsoid, with a honeycomb reticulum
Features: Small, globose to somewhat irregular, yellowish brown, minutely warty; odor mild or slightly garlicky; asci thick-walled. Gleba at maturity brown to purplish brown marbled with very narrow, white veins.
Comments: Another small species, T. gardneri is unusual in its fruiting season being confined to spring and summer. The combination of the minutely warty peridium and thick-walled asci are unique for North America, although a similar species, T. murinum, occurs in Europe. Found from Washington South into Mexico, it is too small and infrequent to have value for table use.

Name: Tuber gibbosum
Group: Ascomycota, Tuberaceae
Season: Jan-Jun.
Habitat: With young to early-mature Douglas-fir.
Spores: 25-45 x 17-33 m, ellipsoid, with a honey-comb ornamentation.
Features: Peridium olive to brownish yellow with some brown mottling, smooth but with furrows that are minutely pubesent with short, emergent hyphae having peculiar, bead-like wall thickenings. Gleba firm, white when immature, brown with white marbling when mature; odor "truffly," a complex of garlic, spices, cheese, and undefinable other essences.
Comments: This truffle, the "spring Oregon white truffle," is a popular edible and is commercially harvested. It occurs from northern California to southern British Columbia west of the Cascade Range from sea level to about 2,000 ft elevation. As is true of all truffles, the special aroma develops only at maturity, so young specimens have no particular appeal.

Name: Tuber lyonii
Group: Ascomycota, Tuberaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With pecans and oaks
Spores: 30-37 x 22-24 m, ellipsoid, with tall spines connected by low lines
Features: Peridium smooth with roughened furrows, reddish-orangish brown. Gleba white when immature, brown with white marbling when mature; odor "truffly."
Comments: It occurs from northeastern Mexico to Ontario from the Great Plains to the East Coast. The most popular native truffle in the eastern U.S., it is commercially harvested.

Name: Tuber oregonense
Group: Ascomycota, Tuberaceae
Season: Oct-Jan.
Habitat: With young to early-mature Douglas-fir
Spores: 25-52 x 17-40 m, ellipsoid or tapered to a blunt tip at both ends, with a honey-comb ornamentation
Features: Peridium white in youth, soon becoming yellow to olive mottled with brown to orange-brown or reddish brown botches, at full maturity reddish brown overall. Gleba firm, white when immature, brown with white marbling when mature; odor "truffly," a complex of garlic, spices, cheese, and undefinable other essences.
Comments: This popular "fall Oregon white truffle" is closely related to Tuber gibbosum. It differs in the the anatomy of the peridium, and spore size and shape. The two species share the same distribution, but their seasons barely overlap. Of the two, T. oregonense seems to have a more intense fragrance and is particularly sought by commercial harvesters. Unfortunately, the raking method of harvest unearths many immature ones that have not developed the special fragrance.

Name: Tuber querciola
Group: Ascomycota, Tuberaceae
Season: Year-round
Habitat: With oaks, especially in warm, dry sites.
Spores: 20-45 x 15-35 m, ellipsoid, spiny, light brown
Features: Peridium dark reddish-brown to dark brownish red, finely warty. Gleba white in youth, at maturity light yellowish brown marbled with both white and dark brown, narrow veins. Odor at maturity of fresh, green beans.
Comments: West Coast of North America south into Mexico, in the past literature referred to the related but different Tuber rufum. Its mild flavor adds little of interest to a meal. Some people experience digestive discomfort from eating the European T. rufum; no record of such a reaction exists for T. quercicola, but reasonable caution should be used when first trying it.