Helvella crispa (Scop.) Fr., 1822
Common names: White saddle, Elfin saddle, Common helvel [En], Helvelle crépue, Oreille de chat [Fr], Herbstlorchel [De]
Meise, BRABANT ● Belgium
Description: The mushroom is readily identified by its irregularly shaped whitish cap, fluted stem, and fuzzy undersurfaces.
Helvella crispa is creamy white in colour, 6–13 cm (2½–5 in) in length, with a cap 2–5 cm (1–2 in) in diameter. It is striking due to its irregularly-shaped lobes on the cap, but with a robust creamy-white base (2–8×1–2.5 cm in size). Its flesh is thin and brittle. The stem is 3–10 cm (1¼–4 in) long, white or pinkish in colour and ornately ribbed.
The spore print is white, the oval spores average 19 x 11.5 μm. Occasionally white capped forms are found. It can be distinguished from occasional white forms of Helvella lacunose by its furry cap undersurface and inrolled margins when young.
Biology : They can be spotted from the end of summer until the end of autumn.
Habitat: Helvella crispa grows in grass as well as in humid hardwoods, such as beech, (not so well in resinous ones) along the side of pathways, in hedges and on the talus of meadows.
Distribution: Eastern North America, Europe, China, Japan.
Caution: Although some guidebooks list this species as edible, the genus is now regarded with suspicion by many. Research has established this species contains methylhydrazine, which can cause severe sporadic intoxications, and may be carcinogenic. It has been reported to cause gastrointestinal symptoms when eaten raw.
Wikipedia, Helevella crispa