Terfezia fanfani


La Truffe: 72 (1892)
Terfezia boudieri

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Macroscopic characters:

Ascomata: hypogeous to partially emergent at maturity, 2–6 cm in size, subglobose, turbinate, obpyriform, with more or less apparent sterile base, grayish beige at first, becoming blackish brown with age, unpolished, often cracked, sometimes with deep crevices.

Peridium: 1–2 mm thick, yellowish white in cross section, pseudoparenchymatous, composed of globose cells, 15–50 µm diam, sometimes with hyphae, hyalines, yellowish in the outermost layers.

Gleba: solid, fleshy, succulent, whitish to pale pink at first, maturing to pink salmon pockets of fertile tissue separated by sterile veins concolours with peridium cross section, inconspicuous at maturity, sometimes with yellowish brown spots.

Odour: faint, no distinctive.

Taste: mild, pleasant, gastronomically prized.

Distibution, Habitat and Season:

Countries around the Mediterranean sea and in the Middle East, limited to arid areas, in calcareous sandy soils, associated with Helianthemum spp., March through April in Spain (Murcia and Canary Islands), January through March in in the Middle East and North Africa countries. Its fruiting period is very dependent on rainfall and temperature, absent some years, when weather conditions are not suitable.


Terfezia boudieri spores

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Microscopic characters:

Asci: nonamyloid, subglobose to ovoid, pyriform, sessile or short-stipitate, 60–110 x 50–80 µm, with 4–6(–8) irregularly disposed spores, randomly arranged in fertile pockets.

Ascospores: globose, (20–)21–25(–26) µm diam (median = 23 µm), including ornament, hyaline, smooth and uniguttulate at first, then yellow and ornamented with rounded, sometimes truncated warts, up to 2 µm tall and 2 µm broad, forming crests and connected in an irregular and low reticulum, most conspicuous at first, with low warts; warts are very prominent at maturity and reticulum is inconspicuous in the light microscope.


The most distinctive characters of Terfezia boudieri are: big size, grayish brown colour, associated with Helianthemum spp. in arid areas, in calcareous sandy soils, spores ornamented with warts forming a low reticulum, most conspicuous at first, asci seldom with 8 spores (usually 6 spores).


Antonio RodríguezAntonio Rodríguez
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