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Summary: Features include 1) an ocher-brown to darker brown or reddish brown, bluntly conic to bell-shaped cap that is attached to the stem only at the top, the cap surface smooth to slightly wrinkled, 2) a more or less equal stuffed stem that is whitish, often roughened by small orangish to brownish granules that may form transverse belts or ribs, 3) fruiting on ground in spring, and 4) large spores in 8-spored asci. It is probably that there is than one species going under this name in the Pacific Northwest.
Verpa conica has been found throughout eastern North America, and also in the Pacific Northwest, CO, and CA (Lincoff(2)). It is found in Switzerland (Breitenbach - rare). Collections from BC are deposited at Pacific Forestry Centre and the University of British Columbia. Collections from WA and OR are deposited at Oregon State University.
Cap: 1-4cm across and high, "usually more or less thimble-shaped (broadly conic to bell-shaped), but sometimes lobed" and sometimes developing a depression at the top when old, attached to stem only at top, margin inrolled or incurved at first and sometimes touching stem (but not joined to it), often lobed, often flaring out or turning up when old; ocher-brown to brown or dark brown; smooth to slightly wrinkled, or in one form irregularly wrinkled, (Arora), entire fruitbody 3-13cm high, cap bell-shaped to thimble-shaped, irregularly wrinkled, sometimes also with cerebriform [brain-like] to reticulate [netted] convolutions; honey-brown to red-brown, (Breitenbach), smooth or with very fine net-like ridges, (McKnight)
Flesh: "thin and rather brittle or fragile" (Arora), fragile (Breitenbach), white (Phillips)
Underside: pallid (Arora), ocher (Breitenbach)
Stem: (2.5)4-12cm x (0.4)0.5-1.5cm, equal or widening downward (or occasionally narrowing), "often rather spongy and usually stuffed with a loose cottony pith" (but often becoming hollow when old), more or less round in cross-section; "white to yellowish, tan, or tinged ocher-orange"; "smooth or with granular or minutely scaly transverse bands or ribs (granules often browner or oranger than background)", (Arora), 3.0-13.0 x 0.5-1.5cm, cylindric to slightly sinuous, hollow, free of cap all the way to the top; white to ocher; weakly banded horizontally with darker scales, (Breitenbach)
Odor: pleasant (Phillips), slight (Lincoff(1))
Taste: pleasant (Phillips), slight (Lincoff(1))
Microscopic: spores 28-34 x 15-19 microns, (Tylutki), spores 30-33 x 17-19 (R. Sieger, pers. comm. measured from eastern Washington), spores (20)22-30(34) x 12-17(19) microns, elliptic, smooth, without oil droplets; asci 8-spored, (Arora), spores (17)20-25 x 11-15 microns, broadly elliptic, smooth, colorless, sometimes with droplets on the ends (outside the spore wall); asci 8-spored, 250-350 x 18-23 microns, not blue with iodine; paraphyses septate, with slight clavate widening to 12 microns, branched near bases, (Breitenbach), spores 21-26 x 11-16 microns (Bessette)
Spore Deposit: yellow (Phillips)
Habitat / Range
single, widely scattered, or gregarious in soil or humus in forests, riparian woodlands [by streams], under shrubbery and fruit trees, etc., usually in spring (Arora), single to gregarious along banks of rivers and streams, hedges, meadows, forest edges, April to May, (Breitenbach for Switzerland), hardwood woods and orchards, April-May, (Phillips), at edge of woods or in hedges, especially under the Rosaceae, (Lincoff(1))
Verpa bohemica can look similar to the strongly wrinkled form of V. conica but has vertical ridges and very large spores in 2-spored asci, (Arora). Morchella semilibera has a pitted cap that is intergrown with the stem in its upper part, (Arora). Verpa conica in its wrinkled form is distinguished from Gyromitra by the spongy stem of V. conica with a cottony pith inside plus the free cap margin that is inrolled when young (Arora).
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2022-08-08 5:35:34 AM
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