Collection location: Oregon, USA [Click for map]
Found in mixed coniferous (hemlock, Douglas fir, true fir) forest at 4700 ft. They were raising the surface of an old logging road. I found several groups of these truffles doing the same in the immediate area. When first observed, they were white inside with some faint marbling. I put them in the fridge in a sealed zip-lock freezer bag (I know…I know) for later identification. Five weeks later, fully forgotten, I spied them in the back of the fridge. Cursing myself, I thought that I would have a gooey mess to throw out. I was surprised to find them still fully firm but with a slight gray mold forming on the surface. I was more surprised when I cut them open. They matured to this point and there was a faint truffly aroma, not unlike Tuber oregonense.
Please help to identify. I believe them to be Tuber sp., but have never encountered this type before.
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must have two things: venae externae (external veins) and venae internae (internal veins). I confirm this collection has internal veins, but cannot confirm external veins. So, while it may well be Tuber, it is difficult to be certain at this stage (though putting them in cold storage was probably a good idea). If you have to do that, be sure to wrap the sporocarps in a paper towel, which will absorb excess moisture while preventing direct contact with plastic. the slightly gray mold you noted is likely some of the spores starting to grow and form mycelium. That may also be why external veins cannot be seen in the photos.
The next clue is being found at 4700 feet elevation: darn few Tubers at found that high in Oregon. The most likely suspect would be Tuber monticola, which is a rarely-collected species. I have found once or twice, usually with old-growth Douglas-fir, but with hemlock and true fir nearby as well. An October find date is also appropriate for T. monticola. You may be able to find some photos of this species online.
To do any further research it will be necessary to have Matt Trappe or Michael Castellano (Caz) look at them. Caz sometimes posts here at MO. I’d contact Caz and see if he’s interested in looking at this collection. I suspect he will be.
Created: 2012-12-04 23:30:52 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-12-06 08:01:52 CST (-0500)
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