Helvella crispa

Lindsay B. wrote today’s entry:

Thank you to Doug aka shyzaboy@Flickr for submitting today’s photograph (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool)! For another Flickr submission of this same species, also see tovje@Flickr‘s image of Helvella crispa.

This striking ascomycete is characterized by its irregular pileus and fluted stem. One might think that its ethereal appearance influenced this species’ common name, elfin saddle, but it is perhaps derived from the original genus name given by Fries, Elvella.

Helvella crispa grows in grass and forest litter under conifer and hardwood forests. It is widely distributed in North America and Europe, and can also be found in China and Japan. Although closely allied with the morel, most mushroom guides suggest leaving Helvella crispa be as there have been some reports of this species causing gastrointestinal distress. It is also sometimes confused with some members of a related genus, Gyromitra, thought by some to be deadly poisonous. Fruiting times differ between the two taxa, however, with Gyromitra observed earlier in the year, followed by Helvella in late summer & early autumn.

Helvella crispa

8 responses to “Helvella crispa”

  1. Sandy in Z4

    There is probably a reason it is so ‘less than beautiful’. 🙂 But sure a great close-up picture.
    Thanks again for keeping up this website and Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all of you who maintain, add links and write comments. This is one of the highlights of my reading emails!

  2. Quin

    so Martian, so Seussian – you’re making ‘belly botany’ pretty easy for your watchers. thanks for everything you all do

  3. Connie

    They grow under truffala trees, too.

  4. Jane

    Well that’s a helluva plant!

  5. Vicki

    I remember the first time I found one of these!! What a strange looking fungus!!!! Mine was mostly in shades of brown.
    Thank you for the daily gifts!!!!!!!!

  6. Ann Rein

    I love that you’re including all these interesting fungi in this daily e-mail. Thank you for all that you do!

  7. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Oh good, another fungus!
    This one looks like the creature from the black lagoon.

  8. C.Wick

    One of the most facinating mushrooms to find when in perfect condition. I love the stems on these with all the beautiful fluting. Thank you again Daniel, for posting another wonder of our fungi world…….there’s more to our world that hangs out with plants besides animals!

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