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 (EN), White Elfin Saddle, Common Helvella, Coesyn Rhychog Gwyn (CY), Piestrzyca Kędzierzawa (PL), Fodros Papsapkagomba (HU)
Scientific Name Helvella crispa
Season Start Aug
Season End Dec
Average Mushroom height (CM) 6-12
Average Cap width (CM) 3-6
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


3-6 cm. 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.


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


6-12 cm long, 1-3 cm diameter. 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.


The whole fruitbody is a highly folded very thin sheet.


In leaf litter usually with Beech or Oak.

Possible Confusion

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

Spore Print

White. Ellipsoid.


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.


6 comments for White Saddle

  1. Ro Ho says:

    Found in north Dorset in a super mild November, a group of around 10 in the leaf litter under an oak tree

  2. David Waite says:

    Had about 10 of these suddenly in out woodchip mulch garden. Never seen any of this type before so trying to research it. Thankyou! X

  3. Piotr says:

    had my firs on the plate this Autumn 2022. great cocistency, nice taste

    1. Flora says:

      I just tried, only one piece.
      I love the consistency and mild taste. But don’t dare to eat more yet.

  4. Tracy Whipple says:

    Jura Switzerland in fall.

  5. Nerys says:

    EU here have these in my garden near a hazelnut shrub since early november, just look at them.
    Posted picture on subreddit mycology.

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