Helvella latispora: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Helvella latispora Mushroom
Helvella latispora is a species of fungi in the family Helvellaceae of the order Pezizales. Ascocarps appear in late summer and autumn as pale stems up to 5 cm in height topped by a grayish saddle-shaped cap.
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.
Consumption of this fungus is not recommended as similar species in the family Helvellaceae contain the toxin gyromitrin.
Helvella latispora Identification
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.
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.
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.
Thin; brittle; whitish.
Odor and Taste
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.
Helvella latispora Synonyms
Leptopodia latispora (Boud.) Boud. (1907)
Helvella stevensii Peck (1904)
Helvella levis Bergeret (1783)
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