White Saddle, Elfin Saddle and Felt Saddle are some of the fungi in the Helvella group.
About a decade ago I came across Helvella lacunosa, Elfin Saddle in the Peak District, Derbyshire. I have never seen it since. Comprising a fascinating structure - it has a cap comprising of convoluted and distorted lobes, grey/black in colour, resting on a stem which is hollow, deeply lined and furrowed, and has small holes, looking like little stretched puncture marks.
At that time I was staying in a log cabin with a friend and we marvelled at this lovely structure.
|Showing very convoluted cap shape|
Ten years later with the same friend walking around Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, I spotted Helvella crispa, White Saddle tucked under some rhododendrum bushes. And we marvelled again!
This has a similar convoluted and distorted cap but is creamy white and the cap looks like a miniature saddle in shape. The underside of the cap is smooth and buff (up to 5 cm high), and the stem is also hollow and deeply furrowed. (up to 12 cm tall). To be found on the side of paths in deciduous woods.
Late Summer to Autumn.
|Showing convoluted and distorted cap|
|Showing deeply furrowed stem|