When: 2008-06-23

Collection location: Crystal Springs Campground, Kittitas Co., Washington, USA [Click for map]

Who: Joshua Birkebak (Shua)

Specimen available

very common in the Cascades up just below the snow level…


Proposed Names

51% (3)
Recognized by sight
14% (2)
Recognized by sight: Western, montane version of G. gigas.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
G. gigas
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2008-06-26 18:47:48 UTC (+0000)

Abbot & Currah did a major study of 2,500 collections in the Helvellaceae from the Pacific Northwest. They concluded that this species is Gyromitra gigas.

Here is a link to the Abbot & Currah article. Click on page 22 & 23


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

Ok, more info -
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-06-26 18:27:05 UTC (+0000)

Quotes taken from a posting to BayAreaMushrooms discussion list, in an e-mail from Steve Trudell on 5/21/2008. He quotes from the book “A Morel Hunter’s Companion”, Nancy Smith Weber (1988). Which he says states:

Attempts to identify what has been called “Gyromitra gigas” in North America have led mycologists to describe two new species in the genus. Raitviir (1970) described G. korfii for those specimens with relatively narrow spores and prominent knoblike apiculi at each end. A collection from the state of New York is the type. G. korfii seems to be the taxon discussed under the name G. fastigiata by McKnight (1971). Harmaja (1973) took exception to this interpretation and claimed that this taxon [I think this is referring to McKnight’s gigas, but that last sentence is confusing to me] was an undescribed species. Harmaja named it G. montana and designated a collection from the Teton Mountains as the type. In his view, the true G. gigas had not yet been found in North America. In view of the contradictory opinions on the characters of G. gigas, we have chosen to use names for which there are types. Names, furthermore, that are tied to specimens actually collected in North America. (She then gives descriptions of G. korfii and G. montana.)

So, ok, a quote from another discussion of a quote, but you get the gist here.

More info????
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-06-26 08:12:12 UTC (+0000)

Oh, shoot, are you going to make me look up the details… I’ll get to that…

nomenclatural confusion…
By: Joshua Birkebak (Shua)
2008-06-26 07:06:56 UTC (+0000)

Well… I have been curious about this group…
According to Abbott and Currah 1997 combined gigas, montanum and korfii because the slight spore differences apparently overlap quite a bit.
It would seem that molecular studies are in order… proff. O’dell is doing a current study to determine the true identity of these Western gyromitoids and this collection will be sent to him and maybe he will be able to sort them out in the end…

What exactly was the reason that it was determined they are different?

Gyromitra montanum
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-06-26 06:01:56 UTC (+0000)

There was a recent discussion on an e-mail list (which I can’t remember or find in 2 mins of clicking), on why the western us stuff is called G. montanum, and it is not G. gigas. (If I remember correctly… maybe someone else can post the gist of this discussion…)