Described by Zeller, (1941), from a collection made at Mount Shasta, in Siskiyou County, California, USA.
Currently known from 32 sites in western North America, including seventeen sites in California. Because of the dull colors, and growth habit (often buried in duff), this species may be under reported, and may end up being more common than currently thought.
Recognized by the cushion-shaped fruitbody, with a tough whitish to gray peridium, and black powdery gleba with tough cords, often buried fruitbodies, and growth in high elevation forest. Microscopically, the large ovoid to irregular, smooth spores help set it apart from species that superficially resemble it.
Known from high elevation forest from the south-central Sierra Nevada of California, USA, north into the southern Cascade Range in wouthern Oregon the sky islands across the great basin, and the Rocky Mountains.
Widespread across the western North American mountains, but rather rare. Occurring in drier, high elevation forest. However, little is known about what makes habitat suitable for this species. More data is needed for a proper assessment of trends.
Population Trend: Uncertain
Completely buried to partially exposed in duff under conifers in high elevation forest, especially under fir (Abies spp.) and pine (Pinus spp.). Fruiting in summer and early fall, fruitbodies may persist into late fall. Believed to be saprotrophic.
(All threats are hypothetical, as little is known about this species). Prolonged droughts and decades of fire suppression have drastically altered the high Sierra Nevada forests, leading to thicker, denser, Abies dominated forest. As a result, hotter, stand replacing fires (rather than patchwork and understory burns) are commonplace, altering appropriate habitat drastically, and making it ill-suited for this species.
Targeted surveys for this species.
Identifying habitat suitable for this species.
Castellano, M., J.E. Smith, T. O’Dell, E. Cázares & S. Nugent. 1999. Handbook to Strategy 1 Fungal Species in the Northwest Forest Plan. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-476. United States Department of Agriculture.
Trappe, M.J., M.E. Smith. & E.A. Hobbie. 2015. Exploring the phylogenetic affiliations and the trophic mode of Sedecula pulvinata (Sedeculaceae). Mycologia 107: 688–696.
Waters J.R., K.S. McKelvey, D.L. Luoma & C.J. Zabel. 1997. Truffle production in old-growth and mature fir stands in northeastern California. Forest Ecology and Management 96:155–166.
Zeller, S.M. 1941. Further notes on fungi. Mycologia 33: 196–214.