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Every Type Of Morel Mushroom (Complete Guide)


MOREL TYPES COVER


Morel mushrooms are a beloved delicacy among mushroom hunters and chefs alike. These cone-shaped mushrooms are known for their honeycomb-like texture and a meaty, nutty flavor. There are almost 60 species of Morels worldwide, and more being discovered & reclassified all the time. It is our hope that this guide will serve as your ever-evolving resource on Morel species. Curious about false morels & what to avoid? Check out our guide on false-morels & lookalikes.


DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOREL MUSHROOMS:


PLEASE NOTE THAT THE GENETICS OF MORELS ARE UNDER-STUDIED. THEIR GENETIC DATABASE IS CONTINUING TO GROW AS WE LEARN MORE ABOUT FUNGI. WE'VE INCLUDED NAMES ACCEPTED BY MYCOLOGISTS AND FORAGERS ALIKE. SUBJECT TO CHANGE.


Right now, there are 18 Species of Morel in the USA, and about 60 across the globe. As there is so much debate about how they should be classified, we'll share the Morels you may encounter in the field or in discussion.


Morchella Americana

This is the largest yellow morel, and it can appear grey when young. It can be found in pretty much all of the continental USA. It used to be classified under "Morchella Esculenta" but that is now used to describe Americana's European relative. Do note that this morel, like many others, are polymorphic. It may appear grey, yellow, brown, or tan depending on its age, sun exposure, and location. You may hear it discussed colloquially as the "grey morel" because of its color when very young.



Morchella Esculenta

Morchella Esculenta used to describe both Esculenta and Morchella Americana. However, the two have been concluded as two unique species, and thus Morchella Esculenta is only used to describe Europe's common yellow morels. If you saw Esculenta & Americana side by side, you'd likely think they are the same.


Morchella Prava

Yellow-brown morel with large pits. At it ages, this Morel loses some of its coloration and looks somewhat brownish. It can be found in the Northern USA around upstate NY & the great lakes as well as some of Southern Canada.


Morchella Angusticeps

This is the standard, classic Black Morel that is present pretty much everywhere east of the rockies when its in season.


Morchella Septentrionalis

This is almost identical to Angusticeps, but can be found in northern Michigan, northern NY, and some of upper New England


Morchella Punctipes

This is just the scientific name for the "half-free morel", a type of morel with a cap connected higher up on the stem.


Morchella Cryptica

This is a yellow Morel on the East Coast of the US. Its often referred to as a "grey" morel because of its color when young.


Morchella Diminutiva

This is a very small yellow morel on the east coast, thus the name. Full grown, it is about the size of your pinky.


Morchella Diminutiva


Morchella Virginiana

Medium sized yellow morel with a more circular cap shape than others.


Morchella Brunnea

This is a black morel found primarily in the western USA. Not commonly found on burn sites.


Morchella Importuna

This is the largest yellow morel, and it can appear grey when young. It can be found in pretty much all of the continental USA.


Morchella Snyderi

This is another western, black morel. However, it has yellow shades on its ridges when young, often confusing foragers.


Morchella Frustrata

This Morel gets its name for its unpredictable colors and difficulty to find. Though it is a black morel, the mushroom appears yellow until the last phase of its life, when it darkens significantly.


Morchella Populiphila

This is another "half-free" morel, just like Morchella Punctipes, but located in the western USA rather than the east.


Morchella Sextalata / Septimelata

These morels are impossible to tell apart without a microscope. However, they are black, and commonly found on burn sites in the west.


Morchella Capitata

Extremely similar black, burnsite morel to Sextalata and Septimelata.


Morchella Tomentosa

This is a black morel in the western USA that is characterized by its small hair-like fibers that coat the outside of the cap. It is a very dark mushroom.


Morchella Magnispora

This is a black morel in the Elata subclade, but is so understudied that not much is known about it. It is found in Turkey, where it was discovered and named.


Morchella Rufobrunnea

This is the saprophytic white morel mushroom, which may appear yellow or gray in its youth! It is one of two known morel species that is saprohyptic, meaning it decays matter rather than forming a symbiosis with a plant. Thus, it is a great candidate for cultivation and has been worked on before. Morchella rufobrunnea, despite being a saprophyte, has been recorded to form a facultative symbiosis with some olive trees. You can find these in the west coast of the USA, as well as in cyprus, israel, and other similar Mediterranean climates. You may hear it referred to as the "blushing" morel.


Morchella Rufobrunnea


Morchella Anatolica

Similar to Morchella Ruffobrunnea, but located in Turkey instead of the USA. It may also be present in Cyprus, Israel, and more.


Morchella Steppicola

This mushroom is rarely if ever found in the USA, and is so big, that we made post specifically for it. You can read it here!


Morchella casteneae

A yellow morel with large pits, similar-looking to Morchella Prava, but is native to the Iberian peninsula.


Morchella Castaneae


Morchella Dunensis

Yellow Morel found in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. This mushroom is aptly named as it can be found in sandy soils, coastal dunes, or on river banks.


Morchella Fluvialis

Yellow Morel with few distinct features besides large & randomized pits, located in Spain, Portugal, and Turkey.


Morchella Ulmaria

Morel found in the mid-western part of North Africa. This mushroom looks like a smaller Morchella Steppicola, with a bulbous shape & grey-to-yellow appearance.


Morchella Eohespera

Elongated, black morel with vertical columns of circular-ish pits. Located in Brittish Columbia in Canada, Washington State, and few places in Asia like Central China.


Morchella Anatolica

This is the sister to Morchella Rufobrunnea, AKA the white morel. This is a saprophytic mushroom just like Rufobrunnea, which are the only two saprobes in the morchella genus so far. Morchella Anatolica has only ever been found in Cyprus, Greece, or Turkey.


Morchella Anatolica


There are also a number of Morel lookalikes, which you should always be careful to avoid. You can find a list of those lookalikes here.

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