False Morel

(Gyromitra esculenta)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

False Morel

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread. Locally common.

Season

Spring or early summer

Habitat/Hosts

Deciduous and coniferous forests

 

 

    Photo by Luciearl

Identification

This is a common early mushroom in the forests of northern Unites States and Canada. It is found in the spring and early summer alone, scattered, or in groups, on the ground under coniferous or hardwood trees. It is saprobic, obtaining nutrients from rotting wood, and might also be mycorrhizal, having a mutually beneficial relationship with the tiny rootlets of trees. It may exhibit both traits at different parts of its life cycle.

The cap is sometimes cup-shaped and nearly smooth when it first appears, soon becoming lobed or saddle-shaped and becoming wrinkled when still young. Mature caps are 1½ to 3tall and 1¼ to 4¾ wide, hollow or chambered, and intricately wrinkled, brain-like. It is not pitted. The surface color is regionally variable, reddish-, purplish- or yellowish-brown, dark brown, or brown. The cap is usually attached at several points to the stalk.

The stalk is ¾ to 4tall, and to 1 in diameter. It is rounded or figure 8 in cross section, and yellowish or tinged a color similar to but paler than the cap. It may be grooved but it is not ribbed.

The flesh is thin, brittle, and whitish. It is poisonous.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.


Comments

Poisonous
Morel mushrooms (Morchella spp.) are some of the best known and most sought after wild mushrooms in North America. They are particularly abundant in the upper Midwest. They are edible, considered delicious, and are hunted for in deciduous woodlands every spring. False morels (Gyromitra spp.) look superficially similar and appear at the same time of year in roughly the same areas. However, false morels are poisonous. They contain the chemical gyromitrin, which is metabolized in the body into a volatile chemical used as a rocket propellant.


Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

Class:

Pezizomycetes (apothecial fungi)

 

Order:

Pezizales (cup fungi)

 

Family:

Discinaceae

 
Synonyms

Gyromitra esculenta var. alba

Gyromitra esculenta var. aurantiaca

Gyromitra esculenta var. crispa

Gyromitra esculenta var. fragilis

Gyromitra esculenta var. fulva

Helvella esculenta

 
Common
Names

Brain Mushroom

False Morel


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Mycorrhizal

A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.

 

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

       

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Luciearl


  False Morel    

       
       
       

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Other Videos

 
  Gyromitra Esculenta ( The Beefsteak )
Jack Skrceny
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 21, 2007

A short description of Gyromitra Esculenta, another false Morel.This mushroom is still being eaten by some people that think it's safe. It's not!

 
     
  False Morel Mushrooms - Gyromitra esculenta (Sac Fungi) 2014 updated
The Roaming Gnome...Glenn Munro! VRCM/SkyWarn
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 24, 2016

Glenn Munro and his foraging...cousin Jason Clark... are on the prowl, for Morels. How ever they find...a red head fungus... that looks like a big ol ball of bark. Its an imposter.

WARNING - Do not eat these!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyromitra_esculenta

 
     
  Morel vs False Morel ~ Some Identifying tips
TheMushroomGuru
 
   
 
About

Published on May 5, 2011

There are a few different species of false morel. The one in this video, Gyromitra esculenta is a little easier to ID than the species Verpa Bohemica, which can look almost identical to true morels, especially to the eager morel seeker.

Be sure to check all your morels carefully.

 
     
  057 RSW The Difference Between a Real Morel Mushroom and a False Morel
Rosa String Works
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 10, 2015

Here's a look at a "false" Morel compared to a real Morel mushroom. Some people eat both kinds. But some people get sick eating the false morel (also called the "Big Reds") by some people. Eating mushrooms that are NOT KNOWN to be SAFE can be fatal!

 
     
  False Morels: My Thoughts
Wild 4 the Outdoors TV
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 25, 2014

T-Mac finds some false Morels (beefsteak) mushrooms: WARNING Mushrooms when consumed can kill you if not identified correctly.

 
     

 

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Luciearl
2/14/2018

Location: Fairview Township, MN

False Morel


     
     
 

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