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Endogone flammicorona is, like all species in the Endogone genus, a zygosporic fungus that forms ectomycorrhizas (symbiotic relationships with plant roots). Until 1972, E. flammicorona was not differentiated from E. lactiflua, a closely-related ectomycorrhizal species that also forms sporocarps in the soil that superficially resemble truffles (Trappe and Gerdemann 1972).  Both of these species form ectomycorrhizas with pine trees (Pinus spp.) (Trappe and Gerdemann 1972, Warcup 1990). Endogone flammicorona has also been observed forming ectomycorrhizal relationships with related conifers like Douglas fir, Pseduotsuga menziesii (Chu-Chou and Grace 1979).

The specific epithet flammicorona was chosen because of the structure and ornamentation of the spores, specifically the spore mantle. The zygospore wall and mantle consist of hyphae with irregularly thickened walls, which create flame-like shapes when viewed in cross-section at high magnification, a form known as Flammenkrone (derived from the Latin terms flamma, meaning flame, and corona, meaning crown) described by Bucholtz in 1912 (Gerdemann and Trappe 1972). Discovery of this feature prompted the separation of E. flammicorona from E. lactiflua, which does not share this character.

There is no widely accepted common name for E. flammicorona, but it has been referred to as “the flame-crowned pea truffle” in the literature (Turnbull 1995).


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