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Tuber lyonii

[ Ascomycota > Pezizales > Tuberaceae > Tuber . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Sometimes called the "pecan truffle," this fungus appears underground, living in mycorrhizal symbiosis with oaks and hickories (including pecan, which is a species of hickory) east of the Rocky Mountains. When unearthed, Tuber lyonii can be recognized by its orangish brown, relatively bald surface, its white-marbled interior, and its microscopic features—incuding gorgeous spores that are simultaneously spiny and reticulate.

Thanks to Blake Peltier for collecting, documenting, and preserving Tuber lyonii for study; his collection is deposited in The Herbarium of Michael Kuo.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with oaks and hickories (especially pecan); growing alone or gregariously underground, often in disturbed-ground and urban settings; summer and fall, or over winter in warm climates; primarily southeastern in distribution but reported throughout eastern North America and in New Mexico. The illustrated and described collection is from Texas.

Fruiting Body: 1–4 cm across; more or less round, but lumpy and irregular; outer surface bald, dry, smooth with slightly roughened areas, orangish brown; lacking a stem; outer skin 3–4 mm thick; interior flesh watery grayish, marbled with white lines and spots, fairly firm. Odor strong, truffle-like.

Microscopic Features: Spores 28–32 x 15–18 µm excluding ornamentation; ellipsoid; densely spiny with spines 1–3 µm long; also reticulate with low connecting lines; thick-walled; yellowish-brownish in KOH. Asci 50–70 µm across; subglobose to ellipsoid; 1- to 4-spored. Inflated cells of epicutis 5–10 µm wide.

REFERENCES: Butters, 1903. (Trappe et al., 1996; Trappe, Evans & Trappe, 2007; Guevara et al., 2013; Grupe et al., 2016; Woehrel & Light, 2017; Elliott & Stephenson, 2018.) Herb. Kuo 11051801.

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Tuber lyonii

Tuber lyonii

Tuber lyonii

Tuber lyonii

Tuber lyonii
Spores in an ascus; fine focus rolled to observe spines (above) and reticulation (below)

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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2019, April). Tuber lyonii. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: December://