E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Gyromitra montana Harmaja
snow mushroom

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23540)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Gyromitra montana
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Species Information

Features include irregularly deeply convoluted and wrinkled cap that is dull yellow brown to yellow brown and attached near its margin to the stem, wide whitish stem that is irregular in cross-section, growth in spring on the ground, and broad spores with short (up to 1 micron) pad-like apiculus at each end, a large central oil droplet, and usually a smaller oil droplet at each end. Gyromitra montana is considered a synonym of Gyromitra korfii by Methven(5) on molecular evidence. Gyromitra montana is found in MI and reported (by McKnight as G. gigas, according to Weber) from BC, OR, ID, CA, CO, MT, UT, WY, Austria, (Weber). It occurs also in WA (M. Beug, pers. comm.).
5-18cm across, convoluted when old rather than lobed; yellowish brown to brown; margin "scalloped, incurved to slightly flaring", (Weber), "strongly convoluted to folded with an irregular edge that is pushed against or fused with the stipe"; yellowish brown to brown or reddish brown, (Trudell)
0.15-0.25cm thick
white or nearly so
2-14cm x 3-15cm, "fleshy, hollow with several internal anastomosing channels, longitudinally ribbed with rounded ribs"; white or nearly so, (Weber), thick, short, convoluted to folded, the interior with several anastomosing channels; white, (Trudell)
spores (21.4)24.3-35.8(37.5) x (9)10.7-15.8 microns, flattened on one side, with a short (up to 1 micron) broad apiculus at each end, spore faintly roughened with incomplete reticulum, one large central droplet and often a smaller one at each end; asci 350-400 x 18-24 microns; paraphyses cylindric-capitate, 4-12 microns wide at widest part, golden to ochraceous granules in upper cell(s)

Habitat / Range

common in the mountains of western North America, generally in spring, often around melting snowbanks, (Weber), spring and early summer (Trudell)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Weber(3), Trudell(4)*, Harmaja(10), Methven(5)

References for the fungi

General References