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Black Morel

© 2009 Daniel W. Reed

The morels are the best known and loved edible mushroom in the United States and the Black Morel is one of the most common. There are many people who collect and eat Morels who would not consider eating any other wild mushroom. They are highly prized by mushroom hunters who often keep their collecting sites secret. The season in the southeast is usually limited to a week or so in the spring (There are some that appear in the summer at higher elevations.) If you spot one you should get down on your hands and knees and search all around for others as the are often in groups but are very hard to spot among the leaf litter where they are often found. Like most wild mushrooms they should be cooked before eating and some people have gastric problems after eating them especially if consumed with alcohol but this is rare. Serious poisoning is not likely.

There are several other species of Morel and the study of these is ongoing. Visit the Mushroomexpert.com to learn more about all types of mushrooms and to participate in the Morel Data Collection Project. Morels collected from locations across North America are DNA tested to establish species.

Do not confuse morels with False Morels! They may look similar but False Morels are not pitted but merely wrinkled and poisonous.

Image Type/Subject:
Fungus (Mushroom)
Close up
Morchella elata,Black Morel(Species)
Media: Photograph

Shooting Location: Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, Wilson County, Tennessee
Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D Camera, Canon EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens, 1 Sec., f/16.0, ISO=100

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© 2009 Daniel Reed