Are these Morels?

leafhopper(8)March 7, 2005

Just happened to notice these two growing beside the house. They look like Morels but didn't want to take a chance in case they're false ones. I did look on line for false morels but these don't look like what I've seen.

Anybody have some suggestions as how to determine what they are exactly?



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They look like morels to me. Cut one open. If they're morels, the mushroom will be hollow from the ground to the tip. The ridged outside bit will also be attached to the main stalk the whole way down. If the outside bits are free from the stalk at any point, or aren't hollow, it's one of the false morels. If you type in "morel identification" on google it'll turn up pictures.

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 9:51AM
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Thanks Patrick,
They are indeed hollow. All the way down to the base. So, should I just let them be? Will they spread? I'd love to have fresh morels within arms reach!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 5:23PM
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ShadyGrove5(z6b TN)

Oh my goodness, those look tasty. Lucky you to have morels growing so close.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 10:36PM
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I know, it's wierd...but good! Why would they be next to my house? Aren't they more likely to show up after a fire in a forest or something? There's only two, well, one now. Will they multiply?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 1:16AM
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Looks like Morchella elata, aka Black Morals. Wonderful cooked. However, I do not advise you to eat a fungus based on an id from a stranger. After all, the False Morel, Gyromitra esculenta is deadly poisonous! G. esculenta has brain like lobes. M. elata has angular ridges, and is conical. They often grow on wood chips, presumably because they are inoculated with the spores. The Common Morel, Morchella vulgaris has a more rounded cap. You can find images on the web by searching on the species names.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 6:03PM
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I've just discovered 5 Black Morels growing in my woodland garden also! I have a hard time digesting any fungi, so I won't be harvesting them, (means I won't have to worry TOO much about my identification!) There are some small nibbles out of a couple of them and so far no dead mice lying about, LOL... I'm not sure where they came from. The woodland garden is in a raised bed filled with a mixture of peat moss and Miracle Grow Garden soil with a mulch of Italian Stone Pine needles and ornamental plum leaves. I do have some wood chips in the walkway... Strange that the poionous False Morel would have a species name of "esculenta"; that normally signifies that the plant is especially good to eat!! I have a few other LBM's, (little brown mushrooms), popping up in the garden also, but what I'd really like to find is a source for Amanita muscaria spores or mycelium. I know that they are "poisonous" also, but we don't have any outside pets to worry about and the kids are way too old to be putting stuff in their mouths anymore! And they're sooo gorgeous! I plan on eventually doing a search for A. muscaria, but does anybody happen to know of a reliable source?

Thanks, Mike

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 10:08PM
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I think these mushrooms must have come from the mulch I used, organic composted pine. Must have had spores in it. I just found another one today!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 10:54PM
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Regarding false morels--the name "esculenta" is in their scientific name (Gyromitra esculenta) because they are edible and are commonly used as food, especially in parts of Europe. In Europe most or all populations are edible. It's best to avoid them in the US, though, because populations vary in toxicity. Some populations are perfectly edible, some are edible in small numbers but would make you sick in larger quantities, some are potentially fatal.

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 9:50AM
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As you say they are called esculenta and they are still eaten in some parts of Europe including Finland. I have even come across a Brit who eats them. European specimens are deadly poisonous when raw and need to be prepared properly. Basically the toxin is removed by drying and/or boiling with care taken not to breath in the deadly fumes. Even then edibility is questionable as some authorities consider the toxin to be cumulative. There are cases of people eating them for years, and then for no obvious reason they fall ill and someone dies. It is indeed said that G esculenta growing to the west of the Rockies are not poisonous. Perhaps they are a related but distinct species. However there have been numerous deaths attributed to G. esculenta and Benjamin describes this as an edible mushroom that sometimes kills.

Incidentally one of the toxins is monomethylhydrazine (MMH), which is quite literally rocket fuel, and the early aerospace industry experienced many cases of poisoning by MMH.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 2:19PM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

I have found that here in MN- the morels seem to like dead, dieing fruit and elm wood. Seems to be more like roots or underground decay more than surface decay. The Morels in my yard will come up unpredictably. One year just a couple, then the next year, grocerie bags full all over- then another year- a few sprinkeled here and there- almost never in the same place twice! I hope you have continued sucess in them comming back!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 2:49PM
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