My friend was bragging about how much better he was at finding mushrooms than me (as a joke, he knows almost nothing about them), and right after he was like “Bam right there!” pointing to a slightly raised, cracked bump of dirt. I dug in and sure enough he was right. We dug up a quite a few spots around it that looked exactly the same, but only found the two specimens in the first spot. At first I thought he was just lucky, but now I’m not sure haha.
I didn’t know to check for milky latex when we found it. I remember it being pretty juicy for a puffball when I cut it open though (compared to the Bovista and Scleroderma I’ve found).
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Arora in Mushrooms Demystified, lumps Leucophleps and Leucogaster together in the same key. May be Leucogaster because of the darker-colored gleba. Leucophleps is usually white, even when mature and sometimes even dried. In my experience (and I admit I don’t have a lot of personal experience with Leucophleps) this upper elevation truffle is often dried by mycophagous animals on logs, on lower branches in trees, and sometimes in convenient shrubs until completely dry. Sometimes the animal misplaces the dried sporocarp. I find these most often totally dry and partially eaten on larger logs just after the snows have gone off in the spring in the Cascades. They can disintegrate into a crumbly mass (or mess) of granular material. Often it has a pleasant sweet odor, though. Odor of coconut.
My ID was based on only a couple photos of a few different truffle species, so it was more of a guess.
You are correct about the size. They were actually even a little larger, closer to 3.5-4 cm across the longest dimensions.
I only searched about a 10 foot radius from where I found these, and not with the time I wish I could have dedicated (my brother and friend wanted to go). With the “dumb” luck involved with this finding, it may be fairly common in the area.
I still plan on getting this scoped in the future. I’m going to see if I can get some time on a microscope at school this quarter. For a truffle ID, do you need to only look at two sites, one on the peridium and one in the gleba? Or do you need to find any specific structures (similar to cystidia in other mushrooms)?
Thanks for the input!
They don’t look like Leucophleps to me: too dark. According to NATS Field Guide To Selecte North American Truffles and Truffle-Like Fungi by Matt Trappe, Frank Evans and James Trappe (c. 2005) Leucophleps spinispora “…this usually small species is often abundant in habitats where it is fruiting.” Finding two sporocarps, the gray gleba, the largish size (I’m guessing here) combine to make Leucophelps unlikely. Using the locules “+/- 0.5mm broad” as an indication, the photo in the above would measure about 2cm, more or less.
So what is it? Don’t know. Don’t have any microscopy to go by. There does appear to be locules in the gleba (i.e. loculate). But loculate also applies to the genus Rhizopogon, which also has the rhizomorphs exhibited on the peridium.
I do know that while Leucophleps is not “uncommon”, it is much less common than Rhizopogon. I don’t know of any Rhizopogons that have roundish locules, though.
I don’t have a scope yet, but I have it dried and saved for when I do. I didn’t find much information about this species online. Is there something unique about the spores? Or would they help differentiate this from the L. magnata? I’m not sure how similar that one is.
Very cool. Nice find. It even has the pink and bluish colors in the peridium. Did you scope it and look at the spores?
Created: 2012-05-09 15:31:38 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-05-10 01:16:21 CDT (-0500)
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