Home Back to Mushrooms Contact Us

Morels (Morchella spp.)

Other Names:

White Morel, Yellow Morel, Black Morel

Range:

Family:

Morchellaceae Morcella family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

Morels are a very distinct genus of mushrooms. Looking somewhat like a pine cone on a stalk, morels have a spongy, porous, honeycombed appearance. The stems and caps are hollow. The caps of the white morel are white ridged, with tan pores, and as they age, the ridges and pores become yellowish, changing the name to the yellow morel. I have even heard tell of yellow morels which, in perfect conditions, grow to a foot tall, and become giant morels. I have yet to see this phenomenon, so I lend these fables the same weight as I do stories of unicorns, and fairies. The black morel has black ridges with tan pores. The black morel tends to become darker with age. When the cap has turned predominately to all black, it is unpalatable. Morels only have one look a like; Ascomycete spp., or false morels are a group of mushrooms which at first glance appear to be morels, but upon closer scrutiny their differences become glaringly obvious. While Morels have a porous surface, the surface of false morels have a brain-like appearance.

Cap:

" - 1 5/8" wide, " - 2" high; elongate and narrowly conical; with dark gray to black longitudinal and radial ribs (sometimes irregular), and long, yellow-brown pits; attached to stalk at base; hollow.

Stem:

2" - 4" long, " - 1 5/8" thick; whitish, granular to mealy; hollow.

Gills:

N/A

Spores:

24 - 28 x 12 - 14 ; elliptical, smooth, located in pits.

Spore Print:

N/A

Height:

2" - 6" tall.

Miscellaneous characteristics:

N/A

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Description:

The black morel; Black ribbed, honeycombed cap on whitish stalk.

Cap: " - 1 5/8" wide, " - 2" high; elongate and narrowly conical; with dark gray to black longitudinal and radial ribs (sometimes irregular), and long, yellow-brown pits; attached to stalk at base; hollow.

Stalk: 2" - 4" long, " - 1 5/8" thick; whitish, granular to mealy; hollow.

Spores: 24 - 28 x 12 - 14 ; elliptical, smooth, located in pits.

Season:

April - May

Habitat:

Moist woodlands, old orchards, burned areas, coniferous forests especially spruce, sandy soils.

Parts Used:

Whole mushroom

Cautions:

While a very tasty edible, some people do experience gastric upset when eating black morels. This may be due to the fact that black morels are thought to be composed of numerous varieties. This means that a person can eat black morels one time with no ill effect, and end up sick to their stomachs the next time.

Uses:

Wild Food Uses:

Enjoy this choice offering just about any way you can imagine.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

None Known

Medicinal Actions:

N/A

False Morels (Ascomycete spp.)

Note how the cap appears wrinkled rather than porous.

False Morel. While many people eat this morel look a like with no apparent side effects, there have been instances of acute toxicity associated with ingesting Ascomycete spp.

 

Back To Mushrooms
 
Some Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Home Back to Mushrooms Contact Us

Contact Living Afield

Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield