Major Groups > Saddles > Helvella latispora


Helvella latispora

[ Ascomycetes > Pezizales > Helvellaceae > Helvella . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Also known as Helvella stevensii, this small species of Helvella species takes on several different shapes in the course of its development. At first it looks rather floppy, with a curled up margin--but by maturity it has acquired a saddle-shaped or three-lobed appearance, usually with a fairly deep cleft or "sinus."

Crucial identifying features include the cap shape (or shapes, if we account for its developmental stages), the pale colors, the whitish stem that is not grooved or pocketed, the fuzzy undersurface of the cap, and the tendency to fruit in late spring or early summer.


Ecology: Probably mycorrhizal; growing scattered or gregariously under hardwoods--especially oaks; often along paths and roads or in disturbed soil; appearing from late spring and early summer to fall; widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 1-4 cm across; 1-4.5 cm high; at first irregularly lobed, with the margin curled upwards; in maturity usually more or less saddle-shaped, with a deep cleft or sinus, or with three lobes, or lobed and irregular; upper surface bald, smooth, tan to buff or whitish; undersurface finely fuzzy, whitish, rarely ingrown with the stem where contact occurs.

Stem: 1-7 cm long (sometimes up to 13 cm long); 2-10 mm thick; more or less equal; bald or somewhat fuzzy; hollow; whitish to pale brownish; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: Thin; brittle; whitish.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 15-21 x 10-12.5 µ; elliptical; smooth; with one large oil droplet. Paraphyses hyaline; cylindric with clavate or merely rounded apices 5-9 µ wide. Excipular surface elements hyaline; forming a turf of septate elements 5-12.5 µ wide, with clavate terminal elements.

REFERENCES: Boudier, 1898. (Saccardo, 1902; Dissing & Lange, 1967; Smith Weber, 1972; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Abbott & Currah, 1997; McNeil, 2006; Kuo & Methven, 2010.) Herb. Kuo 06120305, 05210401.

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Helvella latispora

Helvella latispora

Helvella latispora

Helvella latispora
Spore Print

Helvella latispora

Helvella latispora

Helvella latispora
Excipular surface elements

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Kuo, M. (2012, August). Helvella latispora. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: