To find out if a morel is fake or real, you have to look inside the body. If the body is empty, this is a real morel. Real, common morels are hollow on the inside.
In false morels, the lower part of the cover hangs towards the body, while in true morels, the cover is attached to the body. True morels have rough rigid bodies and distinctive cap structures.
Flase mores also have a cottony substance on the inside.
What is a False Morel?
false morels are often mistaken for true morels, but they are actually quite different from each other. There are a few species in nature that fall under the false morel category.
False morels contain toxic substances and are a very poisonous mushroom species.
For those who have just started mushroom hunting, it is very difficult to distinguish this mushroom from the real one so must be careful when planning their hunt.
False morels are dark red and close to purple in color, but they have a wide body.
To make sure you haven’t collected a false morel instead of a common one, cut the morel from top to bottom with a knife. If you find a cottony fiber inside, it is definitely a false morel.
When do False Morels Grow?
False morels grow in the spring just like true morels. In the spring months, when the temperature is not high and the cool climate prevails, false morels will grow rapidly alongside true morels.
Some false morels can also grow in summer and autumn, depending on what region this false morel is growing.
False morels tend to grow at low temperatures, especially in cool soil. They usually start to grow with the revival of the soil, when winter ends and frozen water begins to melt.
How to Identify Morel Mushrooms
False morels are darker in color than true morels and generally tend to be deep red and purple in color. In true morels, the color scale is yellow, cream, and grey.
The hats of morels are very floppy and it is possible to come across pits on their bodies. The majority of these morels are non-toxic and do not contain any harmful substances.
False morels are mostly poisonous mushrooms. While the hats of real morels are attached to their bodies, the hats of false morels hang down on the gove.
The most prominent feature to consider in classifying morels is their hat and stem structures. If the part descending from the hat to the body is hollow, it is a real morel.
If you want to distinguish the true morel from the false one, you need to cut it lengthwise. if you come across a hole from the cap of the mushroom to the end of the body, this mushroom is a true morel mushroom.
It is possible to find real morels under trees such as ash, apple, and elm. Morel mushrooms, which feed on dead trees and plants, can be found on the body or base of trees and hiding out among dead leaves.
Do False Morels Grow Before True Morels?
False morels grow in the same seasons as true morels. but, it is possible to see some false morels in the fall.
Because the soil is generally cool, the spring and autumn months are the most favorable seasons for these mushrooms. They also enjoy humidity like most other mushroom species.
Do False Morels Grow in The Same Place With True Morels?
It is possible to see false morels where true morels grow. False morels usually grow on the edges of ponds and wooded areas, while true morels are often seen on the edges of forested areas.
Both species prefer cool and moist soils. These two types of mushrooms, which usually share the same habitat, are very difficult for mushroom hunters to distinguish from each other.
Which Morels are Edible? False or True?
True morels are edible mushrooms and do not contain toxic substances. However, some true morels may contain a small amount of toxic substance, but this is not enough to cause harm.
However, you should not eat true morels before they are cleaned and cooked. False morels, on the other hand, are types of poisonous mushrooms and can contain poisons that can be fatal if you cook them or not.
Although they look alike, these two types of mushrooms, are actually completely different from each other but still confuse many mushroom hunters.
Therefore, if you are not completely sure about a morel mushroom, do not eat it at all, otherwise, you might experience negative symptoms.
What Happens If You Eat a False Morel?
False morels will cause poisoning if you eat them. False morels contain harmful toxic substances, eating such a mushroom will cause severe physical pain that could be fatal.
A number of symptoms are observed shortly after eating a poisonous false morel, some of them are:
- Severe headaches
- Stomach cramps
- Bloody stools
In most false morel poisonings, important functional disorders such as liver inflammation and loss of kidney function are also encountered.
For this reason, if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms after eating a morel, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.
What Does a True Morel Look Like?
True morels are completely hollow mushrooms with honeycomb caps that, when viewed from afar, appear to be attached to the stem.
They can be seen in cream, yellow and grey colors. The bodies of these mushrooms are not wide, they are long, and there are indentations in their bodies.
What Does a False Morel Look Like?
False morels have a unique appearance. Their hats are dark tones, usually purple and brown, and become darker as they mature.
The caps of some false morels can be a brain-like shape, and it is possible to find cottony fibers inside when cut.
Why are False Morels Poisonous While True Morels are not?
False morels are a highly toxic type of morels because of a chemical compound called “gyromitrin” contained in the mushroom.
When this chemical is eaten or inhaled, it can cause instant poisoning.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.