Sava: You've heard the terms Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes.
If you haven't learned their meaning,
it's time to look into your book and check what are
the fundamental features
that define these two large mushroom groups.
Those features are microscopic,
but we can still in most cases say with confidence
whether a mushroom in hand is an Asco-,
or a Basidio-. How is that possible?
---Browse through your book(s) and you'll get an idea.
Both mushroom species in the attached picture (taken two days ago) are Ascomycetes.
The tall mushroom in the picture belongs to a genus of
which we in PNW see two species;
one much more common than the other.
Question: What is that genus,
what are the two species, and which is the one shown in the picture?
Bonus question: What is the genus of the two smallish companions?
Paul W.: Verpa conica and Plectania nannfeldtii
I remain never afraid to wade in -
how else to learn????
Richard T. : This is Verpa conica,
we also have the more common Verpa bohemica in our area.
What is Helvella.
Sava: Very good! Richard's answer's are correct.
Paul, your Plectania guess is not far off the mark.
The Plectania is totally black though, and its stem is thin.