African truffle (Terfezia leonis) photo and description

African truffle (Terfezia leonis)

  • Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
  • Class: Pezizomycetes (Pecicomycetes)
  • Subclass: Pezizomycetidae (Pecicomycetes)
  • Order: Pezizales
  • Family: Terfeziaceae (Terfezievye)
  • Genus: Terfezia (desert truffles)
  • Species: Terfezia leonis (African truffle)


  • Steppe truffle
  • Truffle "Tombolana"
  • Terfezia lion-yellow
  • Terfezia arenaria.
  • Choiromyces leonis
  • Rhizopogon leonis

African truffle (Terfezia leonis)

African truffle (Terfezia leonis) is a mushroom of the Truffle family, belonging to the Truffle genus.

External description

The fruit bodies of the African truffle are characterized by a round, irregular shape. The color of the mushroom is brown or whitish-yellow. At the base, you can see the hyphae of the mushroom mycelium. The size of the fruit body of the described species is similar to a small orange or an oblong potato. The length of the mushroom varies within 5 cm. The pulp is light, mealy, and in ripe fruit bodies it is moist, soft, with clearly visible white sinuous veins and specks of brown and round shape. Mushroom bags with hyphae are arranged randomly and right in the middle of the pulp, are characterized by a sac-like shape, contain spherical or ovoid spores in their composition.

Season and habitat of the fungus

The African truffle is widespread in North Africa. You can also meet him in the Middle East. Sometimes the species can grow in the European Mediterranean and, in particular, in the south of France. Lovers of quiet hunting in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan (Southwest Asia) also find this type of mushroom.

African truffle (Terfezia leonis) is a symbiosis with plants belonging to the genus of sun lights (Helianthemum) and cistus (Cistus).

African truffle (Terfezia leonis)


Compared to the real French truffle (Tuber), the African truffle has a lower nutritional quality, but its fruiting bodies still provide some nutritional value for the local population. It is characterized by a pleasant mushroom smell.

Similar types and differences from them

It is similar to a real French truffle, but it is slightly inferior in nutritional properties and taste.