If you have an interest in mushrooms and fungus then La Trufa mycological botanic garden (Jardín Micológico “La Trufa“) close to Priego de Cordoba and the Sierra Subbética natural park is well worth a visit.
The garden constitutes a regional representation of the mushrooms of Andalusia, one of the European regions with the greatest fungal richness and diversity, with some of the species so rare and unique that they require a high degree of protection and conservation programs.
A visit to La Trufa mycological gardens takes you through various habitats showcasing the biodiversity of the Sierra Subbética natural park area with many examples of the flora and fungi of Andalusia. All the plants and fungi in the garden are identified with plaques which include the Spanish common name, scientific name, botanical family, geographic distribution and the level of scarcity/threat.
Depending on the season there are also various courses, open days and workshops covering the subject of mushroom and fungus identification and collection.
The garden layout
The mycological Gardens are divided into eight areas where the most representative ecosystems of Andalusia have been recreated, such as the pine forest, cork oak forest, holm oak and gall oak forest, pastureland, riverside forest and pinsapar, among others.
- The gallery forest has examples of species distributed according to their water needs, and the hydromorphy of the soil. It also showcases small forests with the most characteristic species of the gallery forest. Saprophytic fungi are common in gallery forests, such as the Agrocybe aegerita, the oyster mushroom and other fungi such as morrells, Lactarius controversus and Entoloma saundersii.
- In the pine woodland, there are examples of Aleppo pine, stone pine, maritime pine, black pine and Scots pine. These pine trees require different optimal environment conditions, regarding the acid or basic nature of the substratum, temperatures and humidity. Some of the species that can be found in the Andalusian pine forests are the saron milk cap, the copper spike, Rhizopogon roseolus, Suillus bellinii, Baeospora myosura, Galerina marginata, Hemimycena lactea, Mycena seynii, Paxillus panuoides, Suillus collinitus. Coprinus plicatilis, Morchella esculenta, Clathrus ruber, Xerocomus Chrysenteron and Cantharellus subpruinosus.
- Holm and Portuguese oak woodland is refferred to as the “mesomediterranean holm oak woodland” and is characteristic of the Sierra Subbética natural park. Along with holm oaks, Portuguese oaks can be found in the more humid areas with a deeper soil. The most relevant fungi in holm oak woodland are Cortinarius trivialis, Ganoderma lucidum, Leccinum lepidum and the summer truffle.
- Grassland and pastures are represented in the gardens with the aim of showing how important it is for fungi and its sustainable use. Grassland areas are ideal places to see the well-known fairy rings of common mushroom and Scotch bonnets. Other species in these habitats which are associated with manure are the shaggy mane, the parasol mushroom, Myriostoma coliforme, king oyster mushrooms, Lycoperdon pratense, the stubble rosegill and Galeropsis lateritia.
- The Pinsapar (Abies pinsapo) woodland is in this garden even though it is quite distant from the remaining pinsapo forests that are endemic to the Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra Bermeja, in Málaga and the Sierra de Grazalema, in Cádiz. The most common fungi are the slimy spike-cap, Phellinus hartigii and Xerula melanotricha as well as many of the species generally found in pine forests.
- Scrubland is represented by gum rockrose, Halimium halimifolium, laurel-leaved rock rose, Cistus clusii and Cistus albidus. All these species of Cistus are mycorrhizal and characteristic of the Andalusian Mediterranean shrub. Cistus areas have a large number of fungi, such as Amanita ponderosa, Choiromyces magnusii, Lactarius tesquorum, the woolly milkcap, Leccinum corsicum, Hebeloma cistophilum, Russula cistoadelpha and the false truffle.
- Chestnut woodlands, especially in the autumn offer one of the most beautiful landscapes in Andalusia, where the contrast of colours from these deciduous trees mixes with the presence of very striking fungi to form authentic mycological landscapes. The most common fungi in Andalusian chestnut forests are Caesar’s mushrooms, the honey fungus, death caps, the beefsteak fungus and Ciboria batschiana.
- Cork oak woodland needs wetter and milder temperatures than the holm oaks woddlands and there are species of a great ethnomycological and gastronomic interest like the Amanita ponderosa, Boletus aereus, the chanterelle, Lactarius rugatus and the suede bolete, andothers which are very much associated withthe cork oak are species like Gymnopilus suberis.
Other areas of interest
Several microenvironments have been created, by setting up traditional structures of the region, in dry stone, to recreate various conditions of temperature, humidity and sun exposure adequate to the propogation of fungus species. There is also an area of substrata which is dedicated to saprobe species, which decompose the substrata, highlighting fungi as organisms which take organic matter from forests and recycle it in the ecosystem.
After the walk through the garden itself you can visit the two exhibition rooms and the interpretive gallery that are equipped with panels showing many types of mushrooms in our area are made known and also their importance in the balance of ecosystems, the relationships between fungi and people throughout history, as well as basic tips for good mushroom and funghi collection practices.
Directions and opening times
Address: Calle el Batán, 86, Priego de Córdoba (On the road from Priego de Córdoba to Zagrilla at Km 7.5)
Website (In Spanish): https://pnsierrassubbeticas.es/jardin-micologico-la-trufa-cordoba/
Visiting hours to La Trufa mycological Garden
October to May:
Tuesday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
July to September:
Tuesday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
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