Helvella corium

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Helvella corium
Helvella corium.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Helvellaceae
Genus: Helvella
Species: H. corium
Binomial name
Helvella corium
(O.Weberb.) Massee (1895)
  • Peziza corium O.Weberb. (1873)
  • Scypharia corium (O.Weberb.) Quél. (1886)
  • Cyathipodia corium (O.Weberd.) Boud. (1907)
  • Helvella corium var. macrosperma (J.Favre) Bizio, Franchi & M.Marchetti (1998)
Helvella corium
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
smooth hymenium
cap is infundibuliform
hymenium attachment is not applicable
stipe is bare
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: inedible

Helvella corium is a species of fungus in the family Helvellaceae (order Pezizales). This inedible cup-shaped fungus is black, and grows on the ground often near willows in deciduous or mixed forests. Although it has a fairly wide distribution, it is uncommon.[1]


The black fruit body (technically called an apothecium) is cup-shaped, covered with either scales or small silk-like surface fibrils (fibrillose), and up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in diameter. The upper margin of the fruit body cup may be rounded with scalloped or lobed edges (crenate). The short, slender stipe (typically 0.6 to 1.8 centimetres (0.2 to 0.7 in) tall)[2] is black on the upper part, but gray at the base; it is cylindrical and tapering (terete) with rounded ribs at its base.[3] The odor and taste are not distinctive.[2]

The spores are ellipsoid in shape, and measure 17–21 by 10–12 µm. They are hyaline (transclucent), and contain a single central oil drop (guttulate).[3] The spore-bearing cells, the asci, are 225–250 by 12–17 µm.[1]


Consumption of this fungus is not recommended as similar species in the Helvellaceae family contain the toxin gyromitrin.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Helvella corium has been collected from Asia,[4] Europe,[5] and North America.[1][6] Fruit bodies grow solitary, scattered, or clustered in groups. It is often found in association with the trees Populus tremuloides or Thuja plicata, or with shrubs from genus Salix (such as Salix herbacea and Salix glauca), Shepherdia canadensis or shrubs from the genus Dryas.[1] Jordan notes a preference for growing on sandy soils or in dunes.[2]

This mushroom appears to have a high tolerance for otherwise inhospitable growing conditions, as it has been found growing on caustic spoil mounds (the end-product of many mining and manufacturing operations) of a soda factory in Krakow, Poland,[7] as well as on abandoned uranium tailings in Ontario, Canada.[8]

Similar species[edit]

Plectania nannfeldtii is a similar-looking fungus with a black-colored stalked cup, but this species has a longer stipe, up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in); microscopically, it has larger spores (typically 23–28 by 11–14 µm).[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Abbott SP, Currah RS (1997). "The Helvellaceae: Systematic revision and occurrence in northern and northwestern North America". Mycotaxon. 62: 1–125. 
  2. ^ a b c Jordan M. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe. London, UK: Frances Lincoln. p. 52. ISBN 0-7112-2379-3. 
  3. ^ a b Tylutki EE. (1979). Mushrooms of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. Moscow, Idaho: University Press of Idaho. p. 64. ISBN 0-89301-062-6. 
  4. ^ Liu B, Du F, Cao J (1985). "New species and new combination of the genus Helvella". Acta Mycologia Sinica (in Chinese). 4: 208–17. 
  5. ^ Dissing H. (1966). "The genus Helvella in Europe with special emphasis on the species found in Norden". Dansk Botanisk Arkiv. 25: 1–172. 
  6. ^ Dissing, H.; Lange, M. (1967). "Notes on the genus Helvella in North America". Mycologia. 59 (2): 349–60. JSTOR 3756809. doi:10.2307/3756809. 
  7. ^ Turnau K, Kropieniewicz B, Pawlowska T (1991). "Ascomycetes on spoil mounds of the Cracow Soda Factory". Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego Prace Botaniczne (in Polish). 22: 145–54. 
  8. ^ Kalin M, Stokes PM (1980). "Macrofungi on uranium mill tailings — associations and metal content". The Science of the Total Environment. 19 (1): 83–94. doi:10.1016/0048-9697(81)90120-0. 
  9. ^ Evenson VS. (1997). Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains. Englewood, Colorado: Westcliffe Publishers. p. 51. ISBN 1-56579-192-4. 

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