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angela

Morels!

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I found three morels today, and my husband found the rest!  He seems to have a better eye for it.  I found them in Amelia County, Virginia in the same location my mom found one last April and I found three in the spring the year before that.  I have no idea why they only seem to grow in a certain spot on my property, but we don't find them anywhere but in one area.

morels.JPG

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Very likely Morchella angusticeps, the common eastern NA black morel. This type is usually found in forests of tulip poplar and/or ash (although many of our ash trees have succumbed to the emerald ash borer).  There are also reports of eastern black morels --presumably the same species-- growing under black cherry trees. I have also found them in old apple orchards (where yellow morels are more commonly found). Also, they seem to sometimes pop up near compost heaps or other such areas, implying that the fungus may be saprobic. MushroomExpert says they may play both mycorrhizal and saprobic roles in Nature. If you're finding them in the same spot year after year, they are likely the result of a mycorrhizal fungus, in which case the key habitat trait is probably the type(s) of trees in the spot. There are a few forested spots where I have found M. angusticeps for 20-some years running. 

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The black ones should be out at my place this week. I found a few under black cherry trees, but the trees are only 8 inches in diameter. I assume as the trees grow they will produce more.

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How early in the year in MO do you start looking for them.  Here in St. Louis area, the weather has been in the 70's the last few days and I'd like to beat others to my spots.  But I want to save my knees and not go out too early.  The Oak leaves are the 'size of a mouse's ear' which is the rule of thumb I've heard.  Also some use the Mayflowers as a gauge, although I don't know what that is.

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OMG!  I have a small patch of woods on my property that I always check but never find.  The neighbors patch of woods use to produce a small bunch of morels, but the new owners bull dozed right over the patch.  So I was walking along the edge of the woods and noticed the last of a clump of 3 Red Oak trees had recently uprooted and at the base was a flush of Red morels.  Sorry for not using the Latin name.  There were close to two dozen around the base of the logs.  I only wish Yellow Morels got this big.  One find like this would make my season.

Do Reds usually come up about a week earlier than Yellows?

P.S.  St. Louis area and no I know better than to try to eat them.

Reds.JPG

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Hoping you proceed with caution.  Those are not true morels and need to be double boiled to neutralize the poison found within them.

Fantastic pic by the way

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43 minutes ago, troutddicted said:

Hoping you proceed with caution.  Those are not true morels and need to be double boiled to neutralize the poison found within them.

Fantastic pic by the way

I said I am NOT going to eat them.  I look for the just as an indicator of the season start.

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These are Gyromitra caroliniana (Big Red), a species of False Morel. I have not seen this species in my area (NE PA). But I have seen this type in New Jersey once. Difficult to say how early this NJ mushroom had fruited, as Gyromitra mushrooms tend to persist in situ for up to several weeks. In my area we get Gyromitra korfii, and this species does often occur prior to the true morels. I have found G. korfii as early as March 20. 

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There's a debate every year about the false morels. People in Missouri say that Gyromitra caroliniana does not contain any toxin. I know a lot of people have eaten them for many years but I'll pass.

The grey/yellows should be coming up this week. A lot being found in Wayne county. Soil temp is good but they could take awhile to grow with cold temps this weekend.

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I don't find many false morels. I wish I did. Not for eating, just because I think they are such neat looking mushrooms. 

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