What You Should Know
Lachnellula arida is recognized by cups that are brown and minutely hairy with cream to yellowish hymenium. As suggested by the species name, it often fruits in dry sites where it would appear to be vulnerable to desiccation. The ascocarps, however, are resilient, shriveling in dry conditions, and reviving when moisture returns, a process that can be repeated numerous times. Lachnellula arida is common throughout the montane regions of California and the western United States. It is best seen in the spring following snowmelt, or after moistening summer thunderstorms.
Species of Lachnellula are very similar to those of Dasyscyphus, the main difference being microscopic — the paraphyses have narrow to slightly club-shaped tips in lachnellulas, whereas they are lance-shaped in dasyscyphuses; ecologically, they differ in lachnellulas being found only on conifers, whereas dasyscyphuses are found overwhelmingly on angiosperm wood or debris. All of the lachnellulas have a golden yellow to bright orange fertile surface and the species are differentiated by the color of the cup exterior, size and shape of spores, color and nature of the hairs and paraphyses, the structure of the flesh, and type of wood inhabited. L. arida is distinguished by its brown exterior and hairs, relatively broad (6-8 x 2.5-3.5 µm) spores, and growth on the wood of true firs (Abies spp.).
Lachnellula arida Mushroom Identification
Apothecia sessile to substipitae, shallowly cupulate to dish-shaped, 3-8 mm broad at maturity; margin level to incurved, often wavy, lined with short bristly brown, sometimes hyaline-tipped hairs (use hand lens); in dry weather the cup exterior frequently folded over the fertile surface; hymenium glabrous, smooth to slightly wrinkled, cream, buff, yellow to yellowish-orange; external surface densely covered with short brown hairs often matted in age; fruiting body hygroscopic, reviving after drying.
7.0-9.0 x 4.0-5.0 µm, ellipsoid, smooth, thin-walled, inamyloid; asci uniseriate; spore deposit not seen.
Gregarious to clustered on the bark of downed montane conifers; fruiting during the spring; present in the dried state throughout the year; common.
Small and tough, of no culinary value.
Lachnellula arida Synonyms
Trichoscyphella arida (W. Phillips) E. Müll. & S. Ahmad 1962
Lachnella arida (W. Phillips) Seaver 1951
Atractobolus aridus (W. Phillips) Kuntze 1898
Dasyscyphus arida (W. Phillips) Sacc. 1889
Peziza arida W. Phillips 1877
Photo 1 - Author: Daryl Thompson (woobs) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Dan Molter (shroomydan) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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