Yellow morel

Morchella esculenta
MOREL FAMILY (Morchellaceae)

Description
It has a conical or egg-shaped cap which is deeply pitted, like an irregular honeycomb. Within the pits the surface varies from pale brown to gray and darkens with age. The cap ranges from a little over an inch to 3 inches wide and is 2 ¾ -3 ½ inches high. The cap is attached to a stalk at the base. This stalk is 1-2 inches long.

Occurrence
This mushroom grows in woods and on the ground. It is found from March to May on rich, well-drained soil under trees; often beneath hedges and on disturbed soil at the edge of a garden. In Fontenelle Forest it is uncommon in floodplain areas. It has also been seen on Prairie trail.

Comments
This mushroom has excellent edibility but there is a danger in confusing morels with the poisonous false morels like Gyromitra esculenta. Remember no mushroom picking is allowed on the nature center property.Yellow morel is also called honeycomb morel. Sometimes it has white ribs and grayish pits, especially when immature and it is then called the white morel. Late in the season it is often huge and thick footed up to 12 inches high and 6 inches thick and is sometimes referred to as the thick footed morel.

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