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Common Morel

Edible Edible
Spring Spring

This mushroom is now considered one of the Yellow Morels, Morchella esculenta but we have included it as it looks different and was once a separate species, Morchella vulgaris. It is a very tasty mushroom but as with all Morels, it must be cooked before consumption.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Common Morel
Scientific Name Morchella esculenta
Synonyms Morchella vulgaris
Season Start Apr
Season End May
Average Mushroom height (CM) 20
Average Cap width (CM) 15
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

Conical or ovate with a network of irregular ridges and pits looking honeycomb-like. The cap is hollow and joined to the stem at its edge. Cream/pale, yellow/grey/brown, paling with age usually with lighter ridges. The Common Morel comes in many variants so size and colour can vary greatly within this particular mushroom.

Stem

White/cream, hollow sometimes thickening  and bulbous towards the base. Uneven furrows run vertically up the stem.

Flesh

Fairly thin and white on the inside.

Habitat

Open Woods, pastures, gardens, wasteland and often on verges between roads and woods or fields.

Possible Confusion

The false morel, Gyromitra esculenta, pictured, but this is more lobed or brain-like rather than  the pitted and honeycomb like cap of the morel.
The Black Morel can be similar even in colour, but usually the ridges have fairly regular vertical lines unlike the completely random honeycomb of the true Morel. The ridges on a Black Morel are darker than the rest of the cap and pailer on a paler Morel.
The Yellow Morel looks very like the Common Morel but is usually a yellow rather than grey colour and the edges of the honeycomb like cap are thinner than the ‘plump’ edges of the Common Morel.

Spore Print

Pale cream to yellow. Ellipsoid.

Taste / Smell

Very good but requires thorough cleaning to remove, mud, debris and insects. A good mushroom to dehydrate. Must be cooked before consumption.

Frequency

Uncommon.

Other Facts

Fruit bodies are sometimes found growing on their own, but more often in groups on the ground in a variety of habitats. They seem to have a preference for chalky soil, but they have also been found in acidic soils. The mushroom is usually found around early spring in forests, orchards, yards, gardens and sometimes in recently burned areas. This mushroom is highly sort after.

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