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Group of Fungi: False Morels
Family: False Morels
Latin Name: Helvella crispa (Scop.) Fr.
Common Name: White Elfin Saddle
Description: Total height 2–4 3/4 in (5–12.5 cm); cap 5/8–2 1/2 in (1.5–6.5 cm) wide and 3/8–1 5/8 in (1–4 cm) high, saddle-shaped to irregularly lobed, white to pale cream or buff, upper surface smooth, margin wavy; lower surface covered with minute hairs; stalk 1 1/4–3 1/2 in (3–9 cm) long, 1/4–3/4 in (0.5–2 cm) in diameter, tapering upward, deeply furrowed and ribbed, white to cream; spores white in mass.
Biological Role: Decomposer of litter and humus but possibly forming mycorrhizal associations under some circumstances.
Habitat: On the ground in broadleaf or conifer forests; solitary or scattered.
Geographical Distribution: Found throughout North America.
Comments: Typical specimens of Helvella crispa in which the cap is saddle-shaped are distinctive and unlikely to be confused with any other fungus. Although listed as edible in some guidebooks, Helvella crispa it is not recommended for human consumption. Several closely related species are deadly poisonous.