Morel

morel

Ali Mckernan

Morel

Scientific name: Morchella vulgaris
This unique fungus is one of the most sought after spring fungi of them all.

Species information

Statistics

Fruit body: 5 - 20cm high; Circumference 7 - 12cm

Conservation status

Uncommon

When to see

April - May

About

The morel's bizarre bulky form, uncommon status and transient nature means it's really tricky to pin down, only adding to its desirability and exclusivity. Some mycologists have spent years searching for them, and some are still without success!

How to identify

There's nothing quite like the sight of a dozen hefty morels basking in the spring sunshine to get one's heart racing. Although similar to other mushrooms in that they have a stem, this one is hollow and the top bears no resemblance to a cap at all. Rather, it looks like a huge blob of honeycomb, with large pits and holes all over. This species has darker pits than than the more yellow 'common morel'.

*There are a couple of variants that look very similar - this is one of the three.

Distribution

Widespread

Did you know?

Amusingly, a form of this fungus (Morchella importuna) has taken to growing in commercial bark, and in remarkable numbers. Sightings in supermarket car parks across the country have soared over the last few years!

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