Phylum:Ascomycota >> Class: Ascomycetes >>  Order: Pezizales 
 BCRC Number NO BCRC Number!  
 Scientific Name: Helvella atra

Helvella atra Holmskj.: Fr., Syst. Myc. 2: 19. 1823.

 Description: Pileus firm, smooth, reflexed, compressed-saddle-shaped, with the opposite drooping margins at first adnate with the stipe, 1-2.5 cm broad, smoke-gray to fuliginous above and below, lower surface smooth and velvety or scurfy-villose. Stipe smooth and terete, unevenly undulate, flattened, with some lacunae, especially toward the base but never sulcate-costate, attenuate upward, fuscous to fuscous-black but gray at the extreme base, villose-like the lower surface of the pileus, stuffed, 2-5 cm high and 2-7 mm thick at the base. Asci eight-spored, cylindrical, 200-300 × 15-18 μm, J- in Melzer,s reagent. Ascospores 19-22 × 14-17 μm, oblong-elliptic, walls slightly thickened and faintly rugulose. Paraphyses 4-7.5 μm broad, slender, septate, enlarging upward to 8-11 μm, hyaline to yellow-brown-tinted. Medullary excipulum 190-260 μm broad, textura intricata, colorless near hymenium or yellow-brown near ectal excipulum, hyphae mostly 3-6 μm broad with some hyphae inflated up to 9-15.5 μm; ectal excipulum 100-170 μm broad, textura angularis, brownish, outermost cells catenuliform, scarcely projecting, not in fascicled tufts, end cells clavate, 17-30 × 9-18 μm, walls slightly thickened. Medium blue or with some cells dark blue in cotton blue. Stipe covering similar to pileus ectal excipulum, outermost cells dark brown, walls sometimes roughened, stipe context hyphae sometimes inflated as in the pileus excipulum.

Taiwan, Nantou, Leleku, alt. 1600 m, 10 Aug 1995, WAN 190.

 Habitat: This species has been recorded in late spring in North America, but in Taiwan, it is found fruiting in August. It grows in rich soil among mosses in deciduous forests.

Taiwan, Japan, North America, Switzerland, Europe.


Chen, CM and Wang, YZ. 2000.


C. M. Chen

 Note: This species is easily recognized by its drooping margins of naked pileus at the first adnate with stipe, colors of pileus and stipe, and the naked outer surface of pileus. In addition, the walls of outer excipulum are brown, while those of the medullary excipulum are typically hyaline (Dissing, 1966). H. atra is similar to H. ephippium and H. pezizoides by its dark color and external morphology; however, the latter two species are different from the former by their villose exterior (Dissing and Lange, 1967).