Tuber melanosporum

TUBER INDICUM Cooke & Massee

Grevillea 20:67 (1892)
Tuber indicum

(Click on the picture to see more images)


Tuber sinense Tao et Liu (1989)

Macroscopic characters:

Ascomata: hypogeous, subglobose, regular in form, sometimes lobed, 2-5 (10) cm in size, warted, black-brown. Warts 2-3 mm across, pyramidal, 4-6-sided, flattened, like eroded, irregular in form.

Gleba: something elastic solid, whitish at first, becoming black to purplish black at maturity, marbled with numerous, thin, white, branching veins..

Odour: faint, tuber-like

Taste: faint, rubbery, something pungent


Most truffles today come from Chinese provinces of Yunnan y Sichuan, where they are associated with mountain pines at an altitude of 2.000 to 2.500 metres in a temperate climate. Tuber indicum was originally described from specimens collected in India and associated with Quercus. They ripen from November to March.


There is taxonomic confusion with Chinese truffles. Molecular studies suggest that Tuber indicum and Tuber sinense are the same species. Tuber himalayense would be a different truffle, better gastronomically.

Tuber indicum is unappreciated in their country of origin (China) and is exported in large quantities to European markets because its low price. They look like Tuber melanosporum, but they have no aroma.



Tuber indicum spores

(Click on the picture to see more images)

Microscopic characters:

Asci: subglobose, sessile or short-stalked, 60-90 x 50-60 µm, 1-5-spored (usually 4-spored).

Ascospores: 22-38 x 20-32 µm excluding ornament, size variable depending on number of spores in the ascus, Q range = 1,29-1,68, ellipsoid, dark brown, opaque at maturity, ornamented with thick, often curved spines, 3-5 µm long, 1-3 µm across at the base, coalescing to form an incomplete reticulum at the beginning of maturity and tending to disappear at complete maturity.

Peridium: pseudoparenchymatous


Antonio RodríguezAntonio Rodríguez
© 2008 Trufamanía All rights reserved. Optimized for 1024 x 768 pixels