Knowing the edible mushrooms from poisonous ones are obviously important while foraging. To help beginners distinguish between a tasty edible morel mushroom and a false Morel, we added this mini nature study lesson to our blog. It’s a beginning lesson on how to identify edible morel mushrooms.
This post isn’t meant as a field guide and all mushrooms that are consumed must be identified in person by a mushroom expert.
Being aware of look-a-like mushrooms while hunting for edible ones is important when foraging food from the wild. Edible Morel mushrooms have a look-a-like called the false Morel. There are some distinguishing features to help tell them apart
There are many sizes and shapes to an edible Morel and the false morel mushroom, since they come in different species. We won’t be covering all of those species here, which means this can’t be used as a guide to identifying morel mushrooms.
What is a Morel and False Morel?
Since there are many different shapes and sizes, here’s only a few photos of some different sizes and colours of edible Morels that we have found in the forest.
Hunting for wild morels takes practice and perhaps a keen eye for details. Sometimes you’ll just spot the tip of one growing out of pine needles, and suddenly you focus your eyes to the ground and there are several of them growing in a similar area.
They are found in forested areas, clear cuts and burn sites only in the spring time. Often growing in similar areas is the false Morel.
What is the difference between a False Morel and a True edible Morel?
1. A false Morel comes In many different colours, depending on the species, often a darker colour brown or with an orange-brown colour on the cap.
These are different False Morel:
2. The wrinkles in the cap don’t have hole-like grooves or pits between the ridges and almost looks brain-like.
Below is a True Morel (notice the deeper pits or “holes”),