Morchella esculenta, (commonly known as common morel, morel, yellow morel, true morel, morel mushroom, and sponge morel) is a species of fungus in the Morchellaceae family of the Ascomycota. It is one of the most readily recognized of all the edible mushrooms and highly sought after. Each fruit body begins as a tightly compressed, grayish sponge with lighter ridges, and expands to form a large yellowish sponge with large pits and ridges raised on a large white stem. The pitted yellow-brown caps measure 2–7 cm (0.8–2.8 in) broad by 2–10 cm (0.8–3.9 in) tall, and are fused to the stem at its lower margin, forming a continuous hollow. The pits are rounded and irregularly arranged. The hollow stem is typically 2–9 cm (0.8–3.5 in) long by 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) thick, and white to yellow. The fungus fruits under hardwoods during a short period in the spring, depending on the weather, but it is also associated with old orchards, woods, disturbed grounds and burnt areas. Although a process was reported in 1982 to grow the fruit bodies under controlled conditions, attempts to cultivate the mushroom commercially have only been partially successful.
Wisconsin Mycological Society (WMS) is dedicated to the study and enjoyment of mushrooms and other fungi throughout the state of Wisconsin. Education, safety, sustainability, community, and connecting with nature are our goals. We are affiliated with NAMA, along with our sister club, the Madison Mycological Society.
We do not ID mushrooms through this website.
If you are in need of an ID consider uploading quality photos and descriptions of your find to Mushroom Observer or iNaturalist including our projects or post in Wild Food Wisconsin or Mushroom Identification Group.
If You Suspect a Poisoning
If you suspect you have consumed a poisonous mushroom, contact a physician, the closest hospital ER, poison control center, or dial 911, depending on the severity of the reaction.
US Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
The North American Mycological Association (NAMA) has information that may also be of help. Click here.