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Ascomycetes – Morchella – The true Morels vs the False Morels


If I told you where these were,  I would have to shoot you! They are a spring mushroom, and highly prized. We also encountered some false Morels, which are poison. I’m grateful that I have my Dad’s mushroom books to help me identify them.

Morchella The True Morels

Gyromitra, Helvella, and Related Species of the False Morels

Gyromitra, Helvella, and Related Species of the False Morels

Gromitra Brunnea Underwood

Cap large 5-15 cm broad, often saddled-shaped, lobed, often veined, chocolate-brown, white beneath, Flesh brittle, white. Stalk large, 16 – 15 cm long, 2-5 cm broad, Slightly larger base, somewhat ribbed to smooth, white, nearly hollow to cottony inside. Spores 28 – 30 x 12 – 15 elliptical, finely warted.
Single or several under hardwood forests in eastern North America in early Sp. Causes severe illness from high levels of MMH. (Group V toxins). G. fastigiata (Krombh.) Rehm (394B) is similar but looks as though it might be a darker brown formm of southern Helvella gigas; however it also contains Group V toxins. It is occasionally found at low elevation in western North America.

This mushroom is identical to the one depicted in 394B

Macro Monday challenge

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