Helvella elastica Bull.: Fr.
smooth-stalked helvella

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi


© May Kald     (Photo ID #22436)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Helvella elastica
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Species Information

{See also Elfin Saddle Table.} Features include a pale to dark brown saddle-shaped cap with a broad cleft between the two (or sometimes three) lobes, the margins not obscuring the young upper surface, smooth whitish underside, and round, whitish, hollow stem.
none in particular (Lincoff(1))
none in particular (Lincoff(1))
spores 17.9-22 x 10.8-15 microns, broadly elliptic, smooth, with one droplet; asci 280 x 19 microns; paraphyses 5-7 microns wide at tip, clavate, enlarged gradually to tip, pale brown, contents finely granular, (Abbott), spores 18-22(24) x 10-14 microns, elliptic or oblong, smooth or warted, with one central oil droplet, (Arora), spores 18-23(24) x 11.5-13.5 microns, elliptic, smooth (occasionally with coarse warts on some spores when old); asci 8-spored, inamyloid, thin-walled, (Castellano)
Collections were examined from BC, WA, ID, and also AB, MB, ON, PQ, SK, YT, AK, MI, MT, WY, and Sweden, (Abbott). Distribution also includes eastern North America, Europe, and Asia, (Abbott). It occurs in OR and extreme northwestern CA (Castellano).
unknown (Arora), not recommended (Lincoff(2)), fair when cooked, never eat raw, (Lincoff(1))

Habitat and Range

Helvella latispora differs in its paler cap surface, initially strongly inrolled margin, pubescent underside at least in initial stages, and solid stem, (Abbott). Helvella albella is separable by color, the underside is pubescent to finely pubescent (or nearly bald when old), the margin inrolled to incurved at first, and the stem may be solid, (Abbott). Helvella compressa has a densely pubescent to villose underside of cap, the cap margin is inrolled upwards at least initially, and the stem is usually solid, (Abbott). H. compressa and H. latispora have a narrower cleft in the cap, the margin is often curled up and in when young (hiding the upper surface), and the underside is minutely hairy, (Arora).
single to gregarious on soil, litter, moss, or rarely rotted wood, in coniferous or mixed woods, from June 5 in ID to December 25 in coastal WA, (Abbott), single to widely scattered or gregarious "in woods or at their edges, particularly near streams and paths", (Arora), typically gregarious on soil under conifers in damp areas, May through December, (Castellano), July to early November; December to April in Southwest, (Lincoff(2)), in both conifer and hardwood forests (Trudell)