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Helvella corium

[ Ascomycetes > Pezizales > Helvellaceae > Helvella . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Helvella corium is recognized by its cup-like to flat, jet black cap and its relatively smooth, blackish stem, which may develop shallow ribs in older specimens. It appears to be primarily a boreal species, appearing primarily north of the Great Lakes. I have never seen it in the fresh state, unfortunately--but I have studied preserved collections from Alaska and northern Michigan.

Description:

Ecology: Probably mycorrhizal; growing in woods, in sandy soil, or in debris areas, often near willows or aspens; May to August; widely distributed in boreal and montane North America north of roughly the 42nd parallel.

Cap: 1-7 cm across; cup shaped, saucer shaped, or nearly flat; upper surface smooth, or roughened near the center, bald; undersurface black, sometimes whitish at the margin, very finely hairy.

Stem: 1-4 cm long; 2-15 mm thick; black or very dark brown; sometimes grayish near the base; bald or finely hairy; sometimes with shallow ribs when mature.

Microscopic Features: Spores 16.5-21 x 9-15 µ; elliptical; smooth; usually with one large oil droplet. Paraphyses cylindric with clavate apices; brown; 3.5-9 µ wide. Asci 8-spored. Elements on excipular surface in chains; swollen but constricted at septa; terminal cell clavate to subglobose, up to 25 µ across; brown in KOH.

REFERENCES: (Weberbauer, 1873) Massee, 1895. (Saccardo, 1889; Smith Weber, 1972; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Abbot & Currah, 1997; Bunyard, 2012.) Herb. MICH 00001552 (Wells & Kempton 1532), 00053377 (Wells & Kempton 5489), 00021851 (N. J. Smith 1015).

Thanks to the Herbarium of the University of Michigan for lending specimens of this species.

 

Helvella corium

Helvella corium

Helvella corium
Spores

Helvella corium
Asci and paraphyses

Helvella corium
Elements on excipular surface



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Kuo, M. (2012, July). Helvella corium. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/helvella_corium.html