White Saddle

Poisonous Poisonous
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

This is a slightly toxic but very unusual mushroom, one of the spore shooters that fire their spores out of their wrinkled caps rather than drop them from underneath.

Mushroom Type
Common Names White saddle, Elfin Saddle, Common Helvella
Scientific Name Helvella crispa
Season Start Aug
Season End Dec
Average Mushroom height (CM) 9
Average Cap width (CM) 6
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

Highly convoluted sheet extending out from the convoluted stem. Roughly saddle shaped although not very smooth for the poor elves! Tends to have a pointy side which is often although not always higher.

Pores

Tiny and invisible to the naked eye on the outside upper surface of the cap.

Stem

The stem looks like a tube that has pulled and pushed into wrinkles and hollows creating a series of cavities and buttresses, every mushroom quite unique.

Flesh

The whole fruitbody is a highly folded very thin sheet.

Habitat

In leaf litter usually with Beech or Oak.

Possible Confusion

Looks similar to the Black Elfin Saddle, Helvella lacunosa, pictured, but this has a black fruiting body unlike the flesh of the White Elfin Saddle.
Helvella elastica is similar and light coloured but has a more or less smooth stem.

Spore Print

White. Ellipsoid.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Other Facts

The Helvellas are sometimes listed as edible but poor but research has shown some to cause upset stomachs and some to be carcinogenic. Not one for the table.

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