Melanosporum Group

There is just one native member of the Melanosporum group in Britain, the winter truffle (Tuber brumale). Another member of the group, the Périgord truffle (T. melanosporum), confusingly also known as “the black truffle or again, “the winter truffle”, has been cultivated in this country but does not grow wild.

Tuber brumale

Tuber brumale
Tuber brumale (winter truffle) – Carlo Vittadini – Monographia Tuberacearum (1831) (Melanosporum group)
Tuber brumale
Tuber brumale (Winter truffle)

Overseas the black winter or brumale truffle (Tuber brumale) can be confused with the Périgord truffle (T. melanosporum) to which it is closely related with a similar appearance and that they share the same habitat and grow with the same host tree species. One brumale truffle discovery in Wiltshire by The Rev Berkeley was at first thought to be a Périgord truffle .

The species is sold on the continent with its price being about half that of Périgord truffles.

Common Name:Winter truffle.
Scientific NameTuber brumale Vittad.
Etymology:From Latin brumalis, pertaining to winter.
Detailed information:Trufamania
Peridium:Slightly warty and a brownish black colour. Comes off easily.
Gleba:Grey black. The veins are white, generally long and few in number.
Aroma:Varies with soils and organic matter. Nutmeg according to some. There is a variety with the aroma of musk, the so-called musky truffle (Tuber brumale Vitt. var. moschatum).
Shape:Generally globular.
Size:Usually the size of a walnut.
Ripening period:November to March.
Distribution:In Britain, it is less common than the summer truffle. It has been recorded from southern England (Avon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire). Today, we know truffle hunters finding it in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and West Sussex. It is found with deciduous trees, especially oak, usually on calcareous soils.