ELFIN SADDLES

Helvella stevensii
HELVELLACEAE (Helvellaceae)

Description
The mushrooms in Helvella, sometimes called the “Elfin Saddles,” have irregular caps that are smooth or “wavy” and are saddle-shaped, lobed, or cuplike. This mushroom takes on different shapes as it develops. The caps first resemble cup fungi but then become saddle shaped or three lobed. The cap shape is important in its identification. The caps are not brightly colored, and are usually white, cream, buff, brown, gray, black, or tan. The undersurface of the cap is fuzzy. Its stalk is ½ to around 2 inches long. The cap is ½ to 1 ¾ inches wide and ½ inch to almost 2 inches high.

Occurrence
This mushroom grows on the ground or on rotting wood. Most species show their fruiting body in summer and fall.It is uncommon in Fontenelle Forest. It has been seen only in a couple of places on Hackberry trail.

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