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Scott M

Telling apart morels and false morels

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Going to be spending some days afield for morels this spring, possibly with a few that post in this forum.

I am wondering about telling apart morels and false morels. I was told that morels are hollow in the middle but false morels are not. I was also told that some real morels that are picked from sandy substrates can actually pick up the silica (sand) from the soil. Is this true?

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As far as false and real, its easy. The real ones will be a lighter yellow or gray, and have a taller cap with different texture then a false. The false is more of a reddish brown with more fold like texture on the cap. They just seem much uglier and are easy to pick out, and the one way to tell for sure is like you said it has a solid middle. If you want to find more info and pics just Google it.

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Please don't go by a picture. The reals and false can be the same color especially the blacks. The way I tell them apart is the stem. The stem needs to be hollow to eat falsies have fibrious or cottony stems. I have picked true blacks from the same area where there was falsies. Theres no need to be scared just be really careful. And do lots of researching to make yourself 100% sure 99% isn't good enough.

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After googleing the falsemorel for more data, I really belive my photo certainly is one....the great morel site sure has images that resemble the one I found quite accurately....Actually there were a few more with this one and yes they wre solid internally and not hollow ...I don't think I even want to handle these guys after reading what they are capable of grin....

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jonny redhorse, the mushroom pic you posted is likely a Gyromitra.

da chise31 - About the silica substrate portion of your question - do you mean does it take up the sand chemically? or as particles? When you pick morels, they definitely can have sand in them because they are pitted, and even if you're careful about harvesting them, you should make sure to clean them of grit. Some people pull them right out of the ground, which pulls up sand & dirt, and when you put them in your bag or basket, the dirt gets trapped in the pits. I cut them at the stem so as not to pull up more dirt than they already have.

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Thanks Maash....I looked up"gyromitra" in my "Petersons" and it appears to be what you said with the name of "giant False Morel" or "Snow Morel"....apparently people eat them(according to the field guide) but eat them sparingly....I think I'll pass grin.....People say they are "highly prized" in the field guide....

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I "think" this is a false morel...not entirely sure...I took this a couple summers ago near Hibbing...maybe someone out there has a more definite idea to what it really is...

mushroom66.jpg

Yep, definately a Falsie, I would not eat despite the few that do and get away with it...

Apparently the toxicity can accumulate over the years to the point of poisoning...or the body loses tolerance...kinda like Rattler venom...

And yes there are always exceptions, but it ain't worth the chance...

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I've found that the morels off the sandier soil , especially along the river have a tendancy to have more grit or silica in them verses the ones off the clay loam soils. It takes some extra rinsing to get them cleaned up. Speaking of which, I just fried up the last of my batch from last year, May isn't coming quick enough..

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