Helvella crispa

Helvella crispaFluted Saddle

Order Pezizales, family Helvellaceae  

HEAD FOLDED IN LOBES OR SADDLE-SHAPED

Head:  1-5 cm wide and tall; saddle-shaped or folded irregularly; buff to pinkish; brittle

STALK WITH DEEP RIDGES

Stalk:  3-10 cm long, .5-3 cm wide; deep ridges; interior chambered; white to pinkish buff

SPORES 17-21 x 10-14 µm

ON GROUND OR ROTTING WOOD, IN LAWNS

Edibility: CAUTION

Lookalikes:

Gyromitra – head also folded in lobes, not black. Some are poisonous.

Helvella lacunosa – it is gray-brown to almost black

Morel (Morchella esculenta) -- deep pits, not folds

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An unusual mushroom, the fluted saddle may pop up near coniferous trees. It falls into the group of shrooms that have a "head" rather than a cap like a "normal" mushroom.  Don't be stupid and confuse the fluted saddle with a stinkhorn, which you're much more likely to find.


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