Systema mycologicum 2: 15. 1822.
Common Name: Black Elfin Saddle
Head of the fruit body 4-7 cm high, 3-5 cm broad, convoluted and irregularly lobed, sometimes saddle-shaped; margin attached to stipe at several points; flesh thin, brittle; hymenium grey-black to black, sterile inside tissue grey to dark grey.
Stipe 3-15 cm high, 1-3 cm broad, equal or tapered, deeply furrowed longitudinally, lacunose; chambered in cross-section; surface smooth, white to grey to dark grey.
Spores 12-21 x 12-14 µm, oblong-elliptic, smooth; hyaline; with a large central oil drop.
Solitary to gregarious under trees, winter to early spring. In our area it is most common under pine.
Edible when cooked.
A common mid-winter mushroom, Helvella lacunosa is variable in form and color, but its deeply furrowed stipe and dark, convoluted cap are distinctive.
Abbott, S.O. & Currah, R.S. (1997). The Helvellaceae: Systematic revision and occurrence in northern and northwestern North America. Mycotaxon 62: 1-125.
Kempton, P.E. & Wells, V.L. (1970). Studies on the Fleshy Fungi of Alaska. IV. A Preliminary Account of the Genus Helvella. Mycologia 62(5): 940-959.
Smith, A.H. (1949). Mushrooms in their Natural Habitats. Sawyer's Inc: Portland, OR. 626 p.
Weber, N.S. (1972). The Genus Helvella in Michigan. Michigan Botanist 11: 147-201.