Brief Summary

Although the Summer Truffle (Tuber aestivum) and Burgundy Truffle (T. uncinatum) have often been treated as distinct species, based on morphological and genetic analyses Wedén et al. (2005) concluded that these names both refer to the same species, with the name T. aestivum having priority. Previously, with more limited geographic sampling, Mello et al. (2002) and Paolocci et al. (2004) came to divergent conclusions based on their genetic analyses, with Mello et al. concluding that these are distinct taxa and Paolocci et al. concluding that they are not. Earlier allozyme studies (Urbanelli et al. 1998) also found no evidence for two distinct taxa. Paolocci et al. speculated that specific (not yet identified) soil and climatic conditions may induce T. aestivum to fruit under different conditions, which, in turn, could affect the flavor and aroma of the truffle and the  morphology of ascocarps, thereby giving rise to the T. aestivum and T. uncinatum morphotypes--although single truffle-grounds (even single host plants) can reportedly produce both morphotypes.

The Summer Truffle is considered to be the commonest European truffle, occurring throughout Europe (between 37° and 57° N) and in North Africa (Jeandroz et al. 2008), although in some countries it is considered to be crtically endangered based on current limited knowledge of its occurrence. With its broad habitat and climate requirements, the Summer Truffle is probably the easiest truffle to cultivate commercially and its commercial importance is growing. (Benucci et al. 2011; Gryndler et al. 2011)

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Tuber aestivum

Tuber aestivum
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
glebal hymenium
hymenium attachment is not applicable
lacks a stipe

spore print is blackish-brown

to brown
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: choice

The summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) or burgundy truffle (Tuber uncinatum) is a species of truffle, found in almost all European countries.[1]


In cuisine and commerce, particularly in France and Italy, the summer truffle (T. aestivum) is distinguished from the burgundy truffle (T. uncinatum). However, molecular analysis showed in 2004 that these two varieties of truffle are one species. The differences between them are therefore likely due to environmental factors.[2][3]

This article uses the older of the two binomial names, T. aestivum, to designate the species,[4] while discussing the characteristics of the two varieties separately.

Burgundy truffles[edit]

Burgundy truffles (French: truffe de Bourgogne; Italian: tartufo nero di Fragno or scorzone, "bark"; Spanish: trufa de verano; Swedish: svart sommartryffel), have an intense, hazelnut-like aroma and are highly prized for their gastronomic qualities. They are used in the haute cuisine of France and Italy, as well as a substitute for the Périgord black truffle (T. melanosporum). Like other truffles, they are also canned and bottled for export.[2]

With bodies (ascocarps) from 2 centimetres (1 in) to 10 centimetres (4 in) in diameter, burgundy truffles are relatively large. Their brown or black outer skin (peridium) forms pyramidal warts about 3 to 9 mm wide, resembling rough bark.[2]

Burgundy truffles are harvested from September to late December, sometimes also until late January.[2] They have a wider distribution than any other truffle species. Burgundy truffles are found across Europe, from Spain to eastern Europe and from Sweden to North Africa. In France they are found mainly in the north-east and in Italy, in the north. In the United Kingdom they were plentiful prior to the 20th century, but are now rare. Their distribution may not yet be definitively established: there are as of 2007 unconfirmed reports of findings in China.[1]

Summer truffles[edit]

The flavor, size and color of summer truffles (Italian: tartufo estivo) is similar to that of burgundy truffles, but their aroma is less intense and the flesh (gleba) is a paler hazel color.[2]

As their name suggests, summer truffles are harvested earlier than burgundy truffles, from May to August.[2] They are most often found in the southern part of the distribution area of the species, notably in the Mediterranean climate areas of France, Italy and Spain.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Hall et al., 106-110
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hall et al., 61-63
  3. ^ Paolocci et al.
  4. ^ As recommended by Hall et al., 63.
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