Helvella Maculata

This beautiful West Coast elfin saddle is probably not edible. It closely resembles the edible Helvella lacunosa, but has a tan or buff cap instead of black. Like H. lacunosa, it has a deeply ribbed and pitted stalk with brittle flesh. I found these growing after a cold Winter rain in high coastal elevation under Douglas fir trees. These were large and beautiful specimens, the tallest growing at least six inches tall. An amazing and beautiful mushroom, I can't find any information about its edibility, and I haven't tried it myself. I am not even absolutely certain of its identification. I am cautious about its edibility because it also resembles Helvella crispa, which may cause illness when eaten. You should always thoroughly cook any Helvella species before eating, even the tasty Helvella lacunosa.