Key to 15 Saddle-like and Lobed (Noncupulate) Taxa of Helvella in North America
|2.||Cap dark brown or reddish brown or purplish red, 2- to 3-lobed; growing on wood (or, rarely, terrestrially, especially in the West); stem smooth or broadly wrinkled; undersurface of cap not hairy; spores with two oil droplets.|
|2.||Not completely as above.|
|3.||Cap brown, cushion-shaped and puffy; stem ribbed, with pink to purplish shades.|
|3.||Not completely as above.|
|4.||Growing on the ground (occasionally on wood) in western North America; spores elliptical.|
|5.||Stem with sharply defined ribs.|
|5.||Stem smooth, wrinkled, broadly grooved once, or with a few folds at its base--but without sharply defined ribs.|
|6.||Cap brown, gray, or black.|
|7.||Cap edges becoming intergrown with the stem by maturity; undersurface of cap under a hand lens smooth or nearly so.|
|7.||Cap edges never becoming intergrown with the stem; undersurface of cap under a hand lens finely velvety or fuzzy.|
|8.||Cap gray to black; undersurface bald or nearly so; variously distributed.|
|9.||Cap more or less convex or cushion-shaped.|
|9.||Cap saddle-shaped, lobed, or irregular.|
|10.||Cap saddle-shaped or 3-lobed, pale to dark gray; usually growing on and around rotting hardwood stumps in upland woods.|
|10.||Cap variously shaped, dark gray to black; usually growing terrestrially under conifers, often in wet areas (bogs, among damp mosses, and so on) or on disturbed ground (roadbanks, landscaped areas, ditches, and the like).|
|11.||Stem small (to 6 cm long and 1 cm thick), with blunt ribs that do not form holes and pockets; cap nearly always loosely saddle-shaped.|
|11.||Stem substantially larger than above, with sharp-edged ribs that form holes and pockets; cap ranging from saddle-shaped to irregularly lobed and folded.|
|12.||Cap and stem black or nearly so.|
|12.||Cap and stem variously colored, but not both black.|
|13.||Undersurface of cap densely hairy or fuzzy; cap margin strongly inrolled when young and remaining somewhat inrolled through maturity.|
|13.||Undersurface of cap smooth or very finely fuzzy; cap margin not usually strongly inrolled.|
|14.||Cap margin never rolled upwards and inwards, even when young; undersurface of cap bald or nearly so; stem hollow.|
|14.||Cap margin usually strongly rolled upwards when young (and sometimes in maturity); undersurface of cap fuzzy or hairy, at least when young; stem hollow or not.|
|15.||Mushroom quite small at maturity (cap no wider than 2 cm, stem no thicker than 0.5 cm); stem brownish or grayish; undersurface of cap densely hairy.|
|15.||Mushroom larger than above at maturity; stem whitish; undersurface finely fuzzy, or bald by maturity.|
|16.||Cap black; stem white; fruiting in winter and spring in California, under narrowleaf cottonwood.|
sensu Arora, 1986
|16.||Not completely as above.|
|17.||Cap medium brown to dark brown; undersurface densely and conspicuously fuzzy; found primarily in the Pacific Northwest and on the West Coast, fruiting from March to December.|
|17.||Cap variously colored; undersurface finely fuzzy or nearly bald; variously distributed.|
|18.||Cap pale brown to medium brown; fruiting from early summer through fall in eastern North America and in the Canadian Rockies; spores 16-21 µ long.|
|18.||Cap medium brown to dark brown; fruiting in late summer and fall across North America; spores 18-24 µ long.|
Note: Cudonia circinans looks a lot like a species of Helvella until microscopic analysis reveals its amazing, needle-like spores.
Abbott, S. O. & Currah, R. S. (1997). The Helvellaceae: Systematic revision and occurrence in northern and northwestern North America. Mycotaxon 62: 1–125.
Batra, L. R. (1976). Helvella and Gyromitra (Pezizales: Operculatae) in the southern Appalachians. In B. C. Parker & M. K. Roane, eds. Distributional history of the biota of the southern Appalachians. Part IV. Algae & fungi: biogeography, systematics and ecology. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia. 145–204.
Dissing, H. & Lange, M. (1967). Notes on the genus Helvella in North America. Mycologia 59: 349–360.
Kanouse, B. B. (1946). Some studies in the genus Helvella. Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 32: 83–90.
Weber, N. S, (1972). The genus Helvella in Michigan. The Michigan Botanist 11: 147–201.
Weber, N. S, (1975). Notes on western species of Helvella. I. Beihefte Nova Hedwigia 51: 25–38.
Thanks to the Herbarium of the University of Michigan for lending Helvella specimens I examined in connection with this treatment of the genus; thanks also to Ron Kerner, Ed Lubow, and Lee Barzee for donating Helvella collections.
This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2012, October). Saddles: The genus Helvella. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/helvella.html