Friday, January 15, 2021

Western Black Elfin Saddle

Erika and I discovered what we presume to be several Fluted Black Elfin Saddles (Helvella lacunosa) growing in our back yard on 14 January 2021. Our mushroom hunter’s guide does not recommend eating this fungus. The thought never entered our minds. This mushroom is widely distributed but its taxonomy and subsequent common name is confusing—some references name western North American Elfin Saddles as Helvella vespertina—the Western Black Elfin Saddle. Fungi like this one are found in Europe, China, Japan and North America. Here they are most abundant along the Pacific Coast. They grow under pine and Douglas Fir in parklands and lawns.

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