Observation 46633: Helvella latispora Boudier

When: 2010-06-05

Collection location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

Found under mixed conifer forest.

Part of the Yosemite fungal survey.

sample num. YNP208

Found at Yosemite west gate parking area.

Location: lat 37.803 long -119.874
Elevation: 5000

I’ve gone through Helvellas I’ve seen, and I’m not sure this matched any of those. Not sure which Helvella these are.

7/20/2010 – adding some micro-details.

The first micro-shot is of fertile surface at 400x in Meltzer’s. The ascis are 8-spored, and clear, with no reactions to the Meltzer’s. The spores are smooth, ellipsoid, with one large oil drop. The rough spore size is 17 × 12 um. The paraphyses are hyaline, and lightly clavate, thickening to the ends, with blunt rounded ends.

The second micro-shot is of the tissue on the back side at 400x in Meltzer’s. This just shows the multi-cell “hairs” on the back of the “cap” surface, such that the back side is fibrous, and not glaborous.

Put this together, with the white more or less smooth stipe, and the light grey tones of the fertile surface, this seems to best match Helvella latispora, which is the preferred name of H. stevensii. The paper notes that this is known from the west, although it only really mentions Idaho, and is known to fruit in the spring-summer. Arora mentions H. stevensii as having a more wide-spread distribution. Also this species is keyed out from Mushroomexpert.com. I tried to check on what the North West Key Council might have to say about this, and I didn’t get any response from their web server. I might check that at another time, but this id seem fairly good.

Species Lists



Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
86% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Used references: “The Helvellaceae for North America” S. P. Abbott, R. S. Currah, Mycotaxon 62, p1-125 (1997).
Based on microscopic features: Smooth ellipsoid spores with one (large) oil drop, thin slightly-clavate hyaline paraphyses, fuzzy back sides.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
nice work-up, Doug.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-07-20 11:36:25 CDT (-0400)

here’s a link to Kuo’s page on this species, which confirms your findings:

Created: 2010-06-11 15:45:56 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2013-12-03 13:25:17 CST (-0500)
Viewed: 127 times, last viewed: 2017-06-07 20:00:46 CDT (-0400)
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