Observation 20908: Gyromitra montana Harmaja

When: 2009-05-02

Collection location: Fields Creek, John Day, Grant Co., Oregon, USA [Click for map]

Who: Jason Hollinger (jason)

Specimen available

Found in very moist microhabitat in deep shady gorge along Fields Creek, on ground among woody debris.

I’ve been tentatively calling all light-colored false morels with contorted stems in the northwest Gyromitra gigas based on Arora’s limited treatment in “Mushrooms Demystified”. Is this the best name to use? Are there other features I should be checking?

Spores are ellipsoid, lightly textured, and always with a single large oil drop. Around 19-22 × 11 µm. It doesn’t have a pinkish stalk or a tomentose underside to the cap, nor does it have variable number of oil drops in the spores, so it is definitely not Pseudorhizina californica. The spores don’t look right for Gyromitra gigas as shown in Fungi of Switzerland, either.


Spores, in water, at 1000×.

Proposed Names

55% (4)
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified, Fungi of Switzerland
43% (5)
Recognized by sight: looks like it…..there dosn’t seem to be any other name for it over here….BTW
how do the spores look different?
71% (3)
Recognized by sight

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Gyromitra gigas
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2014-02-22 13:51:11 PST (-0800)

is a European name. Gyromitra montana is a name from the west of the USA.

I’m going with G. gigas.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-05-05 20:14:44 PDT (-0700)

After checking the spores Jason photographed, all seem to be within the range of G. gigas as given in Smith, Smith & Weber.

By: Drew Parker (mycotrope)
2012-05-05 19:56:55 PDT (-0700)

I’ve understood this to be Gyromitra montana for years which lack the appendages on the spores. But according to Kuo, Abbott and Kurrah synomymized G. gigas, G. montana, and G. korfii, with the name gigas taking precedence. So it is somewhat confusing to me.

G. gigas
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-05-05 17:28:05 PDT (-0700)

in Smith, Smith & Weber has spores “26-34 × 13-15 microns, apiculi absent or mere pads at the eds of the spores.” But the description also notes “the taxonomy of the fungi related to G. gigas in North America is in a state of change, all the variants are basically similar macroscopically.” While thia obs. looks like what I have collected as G. gigas in the Cascades (and Blue Mountains, which would be to the east of this site), maybe the true G. gigas is a more limited species. And what I have been collecting for the last 30 years may be more of a species complex than a single species.

By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2009-05-10 18:55:54 PDT (-0700)

I thought i read in MDM (by David Arora)
that there is another species that is similar and has appendeges on the spores …at least i think that is what I read…..
Roger Phillips (see http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/...)
said that the spores can be smooth or warted….and they are supposed to be 24-36 × 10-15 um….

Spores wrong for G. gigas
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2009-05-10 18:41:38 PDT (-0700)

The ones in the photo are all too short, and most other spores I saw were more obviously smooth with a single oil drop. Fungi of Switzerland shows very reticulate-roughened spores with small appendages, 23-28 × 10-12.5 µm. Maybe I’m being too picky, basing so much on just spore characteristics; maybe I was just seeing immature spores…

Created: 2009-05-09 11:30:02 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2014-02-22 15:45:43 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 146 times, last viewed: 2017-11-17 08:50:21 PST (-0800)
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