|Major Groups > Saddles > Helvella pezizoides|
by Michael Kuo
Among the Helvella species with smooth (rather than ribbed) stems, Helvella pezizoides is distinguished by a combination of features:
The North American range of Helvella pezizoides appears to be limited to boreal (or nearly boreal) regions, but since the species is so infrequently collected it is unclear whether it might be expected elsewhere.
Ecology: Probably mycorrhizal; growing alone or gregariously under hardwoods or conifers, on the ground or on rotting wood; summer and fall; in northern forests from Michigan to Alaska.
Cap: 1.5-5 cm; loosely saddle-shaped, typically forming a deep fold--or somewhat irregular; dark brownish gray to black; the margin rolled upwards when young and often remaining upturned at maturity; undersurface densely fuzzy or hairy, grayish, often ingrown with the stem where contact occurs.
Flesh: Thin; brittle.
Stem: 3-4 cm long; to 1 cm thick; colored like the cap; smooth or finely fuzzy.
Microscopic Features: Spores: 16-21 x 10-13 µ; elliptical; with one large oil droplet; smooth. Paraphyses cylindric, developing subclavate to clavate apices; hyaline to ochraceous or brownish; up to 8 µ wide. Excipular surface elements hyaline to brownish; often arranged in bundles; frequently septate; terminal cells pyriform to clavate, up to 20 µ wide.
Helvella atra is a similar species; it features a cap margin that is not usually rolled up, and an undersurface that is smooth or merely finely fuzzy.
Thanks to the Herbarium of the University of Michigan for lending specimens of this species.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2012, October). Helvella pezizoides. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/helvella_pezizoides.html