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Balsamia (Sequestrate Helvellaceae, Ascomycota) in western North America

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Southworth, D. ; Frank, J.L. ; Castellano, M.A. ; Smith, M.E. ; Trappe, J.M.

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Fungal Systematics and Evolution


Balsamia, a hypogeous, sequestrate genus in the Helvellaceae, has been characterized variously as having three to eight species in North America, and these have been considered either different from or conspecific with European species. No available modern systematic treatment of Balsamia exists to allow for accurate identification at the species level. We sequenced DNA from recent western North American Balsamia collections, assessed relationships by sequence similarity, and identified molecular taxonomic units. From these data, we determined which matched descriptions and types of named species. ITS sequences supported 12 Balsamia species in western North America, five originally described by Harkness and Fischer and seven new species that we describe here. No sequences from Balsamia collections in western North America were nested among those of European species. We found no clear evidence for separation of Balsamia into multiple genera.


hypogeous fungi; Pezizomycotina; Pseudobalsamia; sequestrate fungi; truffles


Southworth, D.; Frank, J.L.; Castellano, M.A.; Smith, M.E.; Trappe, J.M. 2018. Balsamia (Sequestrate Helvellaceae, Ascomycota) in western North America. Fungal Systematics and Evolution. 2: 11-26.

Last updated on: June 15, 2022