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White saddle

White saddle
Photo Information
Copyright: JeanMarie Mouveroux (Nephrotome2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 599 W: 60 N: 660] (2538)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-03
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Olympus SP560uz, no lens, (digital), No Filter
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/20 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-06 12:13
Viewed: 3921
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lat: Helvella crispa
Eng: The White saddle
Fr: l'helvelle crepue.

The white saddle, also known as the Elfin saddle or Common helvel, is an ascomycete fungus of the Helvellaceae family. The mushroom is readily identified by its irregularly shaped whitish cap, fluted stem, and fuzzy undersurfaces. It is found in eastern North America and in Europe, near deciduous and trees in summer and autumn.

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 in thin and brittle. The stem is 3-10 cm (1¼-4 in) long, white or pinkish in colour and ornately ribbed. It gives off a pleasant aroma, but is not edible raw. 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 lacunosa by its furry cap undersurface and inrolled margins when young.

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. They can be spotted from the end of summer until the end of autumn. It is found in Europe and eastern North America, though is replaced by the related Helvella lacunosa in western parts.

Although some guidebooks list this species as edible, this species contains methylhydrazine, which can cause severe sporadic intoxications, and may be carcinogenic.

I whish I could get some more DOF but light was an issue: it was late, raining and under the wood cover.
No cropping.

Thanks for looking,


eng55, Adanac, LordPotty, valy67 has marked this note useful
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To touristdidi: edibilityNephrotome2 1 12-08 09:31
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2008-11-06 20:54]

Very interesting Fungi!

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-11-07 0:45]

Hi Jean Marie,
Excellent close up.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear.POV,3D effect,contrast and composition are wonderful.
Thanks for posting..

Hi JeanMarie

This is very interesting species of mushroom, look so delicate and fragile. Nice sharp details and good colours.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-11-08 18:49]

Hello Jean-Marie,
Your capture shows me a fungi I have never seen here or in the wild. The image is clear and well detailed, but it is such a strange fungi it is hard to understand. Thank you for sharing your great work.

Hello Jean Marie,
The stem on this one reminds me a bit of our big Austrobolete.
Its very hard to get perfect DOF at this distance,and although the stem is sharp the nearer surface of the cap is OOF.
I think I would have shot this from a bit further back,on a mini tripod,then cropped and enlarged it. That way you could have got nearly all the fungi in focus.
The cap is a touch bright too,so I might have metered on one of the brighter patches.
Its a very interesting fungi though,and one I haven't seen before.

What a strange beautiful mushroom. I have eaten flat white ones in India, they were so delicious in Italian food.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-12-20 12:39]

Hi JeanMarie

This is a wonderful specimen of Helvella Crispa. I found one of these but when I looked at my photos it looked like I had photographed a discarded tissue! The exposure is great. I'm not surprised light was a problem as these like leaf mulch and damp conditions but you got a great POV and show us the structure well



Bonjour Jean-Maris !
Wow, quel champignon étrange, je n'en avais encore jamais vu ! Les détails sont excellents, tout comme la composition et le POV. J'aime bien aussi les couleurs, très naturelles. Félicitations !

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