This article discusses how to identify white and black morel mushrooms. A detailed habit description is also included, along with how to avoid picking the wrong type of mushroom. When to find morels is also addressed.
How to Find Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms can be quite expensive to purchase, often running ten to twenty dollars an ounce. But these tasty morsels might be as close as your local woodlot or fence row. The trick is locating the right habitat and growing conditions of this fantastic fungus.
What Does a Morel Mushroom Look Like?
There are two types of morel mushrooms. In the early spring the black type of morel appears, and in the later part of spring the white type of morel can be found. Both types look similar to each other. The white type of morel is often bigger than the black morel mushroom.
Eating the wrong species of mushroom can make a person sick, so it is best to thoroughly study a mycology field guide devoted to picking morels, or go mushroom hunting with an experienced morel picker. Morel mushrooms look very distinct from other mushroom species, so there is little chance of picking poisonous look-alikes.
When to Find Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are found in early spring. In eastern North America morel mushroom season begins sometime in February, or March. Finding mushrooms is heavily dependent on the weather. Morels usually pop up after a good month or so of spring rains followed by warm temperatures.
As Spring progresses towards simmer so does the morel mushroom season. The earliest morel mushrooms are found in the south of their range. In mountainous areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, morels can be found in more elevated areas further into the spring season. Morel mushrooms are found as late as July in northern areas of Canada.
The hairy woodpecker is a wood pecker common to most of North America.
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