|Major Groups > Saddles > Helvella maculata|
by Michael Kuo
Helvella maculata is a western species that features an elaborately ribbed and pocketed stem, a brownish cap that is loosely lobed, and a fuzzy, whitish undersurface. It appears under conifers and hardwoods from Alaska to California--usually in fall, but also over winter or in spring in coastal areas.
Ecology: Probably mycorrhizal; growing alone or gregariously under conifers (especially spruces and Douglas-fir); fall (also winter and spring in coastal areas); Alaska to California, inland to Idaho and Alberta.
Cap: 1-6 cm; vaguely saddle-shaped or irregularly lobed; at first strongly inrolled; slightly wavy or wrinkled; upper surface brown, sometimes mottled with whitish areas; undersurface whitish at first, becoming dull yellow with age, densely fuzzy, occasionally with a few ribs extended from the stem; the margin not usually fusing with the stem where contact occurs.
Flesh: Thin; brittle; often chambered in the stem.
Stem: 2-12 cm long; up to 3 cm wide; whitish, with brownish areas; deeply and ornately ribbed, with cross-veins and pockets.
Microscopic Features: Spores 18-23 x 11-14 µ; elliptical; smooth; with one large oil droplet. Paraphyses with subclavate to clavate apices; 5-9 µ wide; hyaline to brownish. Excipular surface elements hyaline; often arranged in bundles; frequently septate; terminal cells subglobose to barrel-shaped.
Study of the Holotype
A portion of the holotype collection (N. J. Smith 2124, from Bonner County, ID; MICH 5635) containing three dried fruiting bodies was examined in October of 2012, courtesy of the Herbarium of the University of Michigan.
Caps 15-29 mm high; 19-36 mm wide; wavy and irregular with upturned margins; not or only vaguely lobed; broadly wrinkled; medium grayish brown (641); with a lens appearing finely velvety. Excipular surface brownish yellow (814); pubescent. Stem 40-55 x 9-14 mm; lacunose; ribs extending a few mm onto excipular surface; concolorous with excipular surface; basal mycelium whitish. Paraphyses filiform with clavate, subclavate, or merely rounded apices; hyaline to ochraceous in water; hyaline to brownish (in the cells) in KOH; 5-8 µ wide. Asci 8-spored. Spores in KOH ellipsoid or irregularly swollen in the middle by the medium; smooth; hyaline; with one large oil droplet and numerous smaller globules. Spores in water with one large oil droplet or with amorphous granular contents; smooth; 18-21 x 11-12 µ;ellipsoid; hyaline. Excipular surface elements hyaline in KOH; in bundles of chained, cylindric-septate units; terminal cell subglobose to pyriform. Stipitipellis of filamentous hyaline hyphae about 2.5 µ wide, interspersed with bundles of elements like those on the excipular surface.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2012, October). Helvella maculata. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/helvella_maculata.html