Public Description of Helvella vespertina Nguyen & Vellinga

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Name: Helvella vespertina Nguyen & Vellinga
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Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Helvellaceae


General Description:

One of the “elfin saddles”. Typically 7-20 cm high. Cap: gray to black, saddle-shaped or lobed. Stem: grey to black fluted, with pits.2 8 13


Diagnostic Description:

Location: Helvella dryophila and Helvella vespertina are western North American taxa,4 10 also reported from Michigan and Ontario.4 They both had been referred to as Helvella lacunosa, but the European Helvella lacunosa probably does not occur in western North America.4 10

Nguyen et al. recommend distinguishing H. dryophila and H. vespertina with a combination of host and macro-morphological.
Helvella dryophila is primarily an oak associate.4 10 H. vespertina is a conifer associate.4 10
Morphologically:

Helvella dryophila looks similar to H. vespertina, but the contrast in color between pileus and stipe is striking; the pileus is very dark and squat and rounded with distinct well defined grooves when young (FIG. 1A–C), and the ascomata are up to 85 mm high. We could not find any reliable microscopic differences.”10

There is also some difference between the fruiting seasons. Helvella dryophila fruits in the spring (mid-December through April, June at higher elevations).4 10 Beug describes H. vespertina as “fall–fruiting”.4 But “fall” is imprecise. It is actually ""Oct–Mar (rarely in Apr)". Ngyuen, et al., at 1282.10. Trudell says most common in fall, but can fruit “practically any time.”13 (H. lacunosa)


Distribution:

Helvella dryophila and Helvella vespertina are western North American taxa,4 10 also reported from Michigan and Ontario.4 They both had been referred to as Helvella lacunosa, but the European Helvella lacunosa probably does not occur in western North America.4 10


Habitat:

Helvella dryophila is an Quercus (Oak) associate.4 10 The fungus was also found as a root tip on Arbutus menziesii (Pacific Madrone).10 But the mushroom was found “only where Quercus species occur”.10
Helvella vespertina is a conifer associate, 4 10 with:
Pinus (Pine): Pinus lambertiana (Sugar Pine), Pinus muricata (Bishop Pine), Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine);
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir); and
“possibly” Abies concolor (White Fir) and Arbutus menziesii (Pacific Madrone).10


Uses:

Most sources call this (under the name Helvella lacunosa) inedible or advise extreme caution in consuming because of its relation to deadly species.3 4 5 8 9 A few sources call it edible when cooked.2 15


References:

1 Abbott, S.O. & Currah, R.S. (1997). The Helvellaceae: Systematic revision and occurrence in northern and northwestern North America. Mycotaxon 62: 1-125. (Helvella lacunosa)

2 Arora, Mushrooms Demystified (Ten Speed Press 2d ed. 1986) (Helvella lacunosa)

3 Benjamin, Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas (W.H. Freeman & Co. 1995) (Helvella)

4 Michael Beug, Alan E. Bessette, Arleen R. Bessette, Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide (Univ. of Texas Press 2014)

5 Duffy, Toxic Fungi of Western North America (a MykoWeb Page) (Helvella)

6 Kempton, P.E. & Wells, V.L. (1970). Studies on the Fleshy Fungi of Alaska. IV. A Preliminary Account of the Genus Helvella. Mycologia 62, issue 5: 940-959. (Helvella lacunosa)

7 Kuo, M. (2012, August). Helvella lacunosa. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/helvella_lacunosa.html

8 Lincoff, National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms (Alfred A. Knopf 1981) (Helvella lacunosa)

9 McKenney, Stuntz & Ammirati, The New Savory Wild Mushroom (Univ. of Wash. Press 3d. ed.) (Helvella lacunosa)

10 Nhu Nguyen, Fidel Landeros, Roberto Garibay-Orijel, Karen Hansen and Else C. Vellinga. 2013. The Helvella lacunosa species complex in western North America: cryptic species, misapplied names and parasites. Mycologia 105(5): 1275–1286. DOI: 10.3852/12-391

16 Rogers Mushrooms (Helvella lacunosa)

11 Smith, A.H. (1949). Mushrooms in their Natural Habitats. Sawyer’s Inc: Portland, OR. 626 p. (Helvella lacunosa)

12 Treibs, Trial Key to HELVELLACEAE in the Pacific Northwest (2001)

13 Trudell & Ammirati, Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press 2009) (Helvella lacunosa)

14 Weber, N.S. (1972). The Genus Helvella in Michigan. Michigan Botanist 11: 147-201. (Helvella lacunosa)

15 Wood & Stevens, The Fungi of California, Helvella lacunosa (a MykoWeb Page)


Notes:

Common names (for Helvella dryophila, H. lacunosa, and H. vespertina) include:
Black Elfin Saddle, Elfin Saddle, Fluted Elfin saddle, Fluted Black Elfin Saddle, Gruben-Lorchel, Helvelle lacuneuse, Mitre d’évêque.2 4 8 13 15 16


Description author: Joe Cohen (Request Authorship Credit)


Created: 2014-03-25 12:51:02 PDT (-0700) by Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
Last modified: 2014-03-25 20:11:23 PDT (-0700) by Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
Viewed: 483 times, last viewed: 2018-02-11 16:27:37 PST (-0800)