Morel, Morille

Morchella esculenta

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Morel, Morille Morchella esculenta (L.) Pers. (illustrated 60% life size) Fruit body 6–20cm high, very variable. Cap round to ovoid or obtusely conical; pale yellowish-brown, darkening and browning with age; ridges acute, forming an irregular honeycomb around angular pits. Stem slightly swollen at the base, longitudinally furrowed; whitish to ochraceous-cream; minutely scurfy. Spores 16–19Γ—8.5–11ΒΌ, broadly elliptical. Asci 330Γ—20ΒΌ. Habitat in open scrub or woodland or on waste ground, especially on chalky soil, usually associated with ash, elm, or apple trees; late spring, normally around St George’s Day. Uncommon. Edible excellent. Note several forms are recognized, especially in mainland Europe; M. esculenta var. rotunda has a roundish, ochre-yellow fertile head, while that of M. esculenta var. crassipes is grey-brown and the stalk granular and much swollen at the base; M. esculenta var. umbrina is smaller than the type, with a dark greyish-black fertile head.

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