Observation 141914: Leucophleps spinospora Fogel

When: 2013-08-04

Collection location: Cisco Grove, Placer County, California, USA [Click for map]


Who: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)

Specimen available

These truffles were found approx. 3" below the surface of the duff at the base of an aspen tree, in a predominately lodgepole pine forest. Its brain-like shape, opaque white color, small size, and strong odor make it distinctive. Difficult to describe the odor 24 hours later since it has changed, but not unpleasant when fresh. The interior of the gleba when cut appears to have a yellow tint in some areas. I can’t determine if its simply the color, or staining that is occurring.

Thanks to Mike Castellano for the ID help.

Proposed Names

46% (2)
Recognized by sight
52% (3)
Used references: NATS Field Guide To Selected North American Truffles and Truffle-like Fungi, by Matt Trappe, Frank Evans and James Trappe.

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-08-06 13:09:58 EDT (-0400)
I think Caz just likes to be sure when making an ID. Even if not for consumption. Putting it under the ‘scope is a much more certain method, don’t you think?
No Debbie.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-08-06 13:06:45 EDT (-0400)

But the preponderance of specimens submitted to NATS over the past 25 years have been L. spinisporus. L. magatus is the only other species I’m familiar with. I think that was collected in excess of 8,000 feet in the Sierras.

Yep, Mike. The latex is hard to see, and dehydrated specimens don’t weep much. Usually a little tackiness is all you have to go on. But latex is visible in your photos. About enough to leave a fingerprint is all it usually produces.

I suspect…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-08-06 12:42:04 EDT (-0400)

that since Castellano was not willing to make a specific ID here, with the same photographic evidence that we all had, that there may be cryptic species within the spinospora “group.” Unless he was just waiting for the microscopy to confirm?

The little Trappe truffle book also discusses L. spinospora as having white latex that turns yellow, and the celery salt odor. But still…

Got micrographs?

By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2013-08-06 11:07:37 EDT (-0400)

the odor was strong, and a little sharp, with a watery freshness. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but celery, not celery salt, might be a good description.

Thank you Daniel.
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2013-08-06 10:46:52 EDT (-0400)

When I saw the yellow staining I wondered about latex, but it was not obvious, and I couldn’t detect it. In fact I rubbed a finger across the surface, but if it was exuding latex, it was not enough to wet my finger.

The depth could have been as much as 4" now that I think about it. What would you expect. I don’t have a field guide. I forgot to mention that Caz made the tenetive ID, and will go back and correct that.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-08-06 09:46:59 EDT (-0400)

bleeds white latex when sliced, Mike. I can see slight bleeding in your photos, which is a feature you want to catch.

I’m surprised at the depth these were found at: function of dry weather?

While species identification will await microscopy, yellowish-staining properties are a function of air with the latex. Said to have odor of celery salt when fresh. I find the odor more like maple syrup.

Created: 2013-08-06 02:29:47 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2013-08-06 16:59:13 EDT (-0400)
Viewed: 84 times, last viewed: 2017-10-26 13:15:54 EDT (-0400)
Show Log