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”),
3 The false Morel doesn’t have a hollow inside when you cut it open. It is filled with dense cotton-like fibres and tissue and is solid in the stem.
Always remember that the inside of a true More is HOLLOW!
Notice the picture below of the true Morel sliced open, it is entirely hollow from the stem to the cap, leaving a circle in the middle when sliced.
4. The false Morel‘s stem is attached at the very top of the cap, while the edible morel’s stem attaches at the bottom of the cap. see printable!
Check out our free printable to help with your nature studies, you can also find these under our freebies section to download and print.
Do you want a larger printable bundle to help with your lesson? Here’s a sneak peek of what we are working on for you!
We will have a larger Morel Printable bundle coming soon, with craft instructions and chalkboard art to make, to help with your wild mushroom studies (coming later this summer!). Here’s some of the Morel Nature study pictures, worksheets and colouring pages:
Morel crafts made by kids:
We Hope you had fun learning a bit more about wild Morel mushrooms. You can find more mushroom craft ideas on our blog or Instagram page @acorns.and.aprons !
Happy Morel Mushroom Hunting!