Observation 20547: Gyromitra brunnea Underw.

When: 2009-04-19

Collection location: Wheaton, Maryland, USA [Click for map]

Who: John S. Harper (jsharper)

No specimen available

Gyromitra sp (False Morel) found (about 5 feet from a true (half free/ semilibera) morel). Undoubtedly a Gyromitra, but the species was in debated. After researching my books, my guess is that it is a G. fastigiata (synonym brunnea) as described in Miller & Miller (NA Mushrooms): April/May, single to several in hardwood forests, SE/central/southern, and white spore print. Reasons: (a) infula is found in SE and S US, but is reported to fruit in late summer and fall and (b) esculenta is said to be found under conifers and in western US, © gigas said to be found under conifers in mountains west of the Rockies. The pictures posted include illustration of the chambered interior in cross- section, and also that the exterior is not really a hollow shell like a morel, but instead lobes that appear at first to be connected but can be separated. In taking the spore print, this mushroom dried to an amazingly small size. In posting, the named provided in Miller & Miller was deprecated in favor of Korfii

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:07:49 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Wheaton, Montgomery county, Maryland, USA’ to ‘Wheaton, Maryland, USA

Proposed Names

10% (2)
Used references: Miller & Miller, North American Mushrooms
91% (2)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
For Debbie
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2009-04-28 14:56:05 PDT (-0700)

No, this is not the look alike for your western lorchels. Gyromitra korfii which is similar is smaller and is often found under hardwoods. It is our earliest fruiting Gyromitra in the East/Midwest.

Good one
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-04-28 03:07:12 PDT (-0700)

but this key also includes species from other genera like Discina or Pseudorhizina which are commonly held apart from Gyromitra. Or does DNA prove me wrong??? In Europe we have G. esculenta, G. fastigiata, G. gigas and G. infula belonging to the true Gyromitra genus. And maybe introduced G. caroliniana?
perlata belongs to Discina and sphaerospora to Pseudorhizina but you can sort them out macroscopically if you wish so.

Current references
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2009-04-27 20:34:31 PDT (-0700)

1. MushroomExpert.com Gyromitra key

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

which mushroom is being called korfii now?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-27 19:23:20 PDT (-0700)

I am so confused. If it’s this one, doesn’t look a bit like our stocky western Gyromitra gigas/montanum.

That’s how I see it John
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2009-04-27 18:54:31 PDT (-0700)

And I first learned this species as Helvella underwoodii. Dr. Kent McKnight misinterpreted these 2 species adding to the confusion. Another issue is Gyromitra korfii possibly being the same as G. montanum and G. gigas. The latter 2 names are usually attached to northern or mountainous conifer species. G. korfii occurs in E. N. America under hardwoods sometimes with G. fastigiata (brunnea). Got all that?!

now I am thoroughly confused.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-27 09:38:55 PDT (-0700)

index fungorum is little help.

you’re right, I mis-quoted Weber…she sez bull-nose as a common name for korfii (then claims that some consider fastigiata a synonym), and then uses elephant ears as a common name for both fastigiata and brunnea!

Name convention
By: John S. Harper (jsharper)
2009-04-27 09:10:19 PDT (-0700)

Walt — I would have used G. fastigiata, but when entering the observation in Mushroom Observer, the web site indicated that G. fastigiata was “deprecated” and only gave me the alternative name G. korfii. Not sure who makes those decisions for the MO website software, but I am sure who ever it is generally know more than me. You view is that G. korfii is a different species mushroom now distringuished from G. fastigiatia, but that G. fastigiata and G. brunnea are equivalent?

I can see the elephant ears common name (the hollow chamber was really two ear shapes lobes that were appressed at the edges to form the chamber).

Gyromitra names
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2009-04-25 20:11:27 PDT (-0700)

Last I knew G. fastigiata was the accepted name for this species. Unfortunately the same name was used in the past for what is now G. korfii. The common name of brown false morel works. G. korfii has the common name of bull nose false morel. Anyhow, your identification looks right on to me. It is the name game that has created confusion.

nice job of documenting G. korfii.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-04-24 08:48:12 PDT (-0700)

And your reasoning in determining the ID was sound. As a “cutesy” aside, Nancy Smith Weber sez that these interesting gyromitra have the common name of elephant ears! AS a western collector, I have never seen this form in the flesh, but your posting has provided the next best thing.

Created: 2009-04-23 23:21:06 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2013-04-30 21:29:14 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 636 times, last viewed: 2018-01-14 18:11:09 PST (-0800)
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