What Happens If I Eat a False Morel? (Solved & Explained!)

False morels are a highly poisonous mushroom and can cause death if ingested. Some symptoms that may occur when ingesting false morels are severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, stomach cramping, and fatigue.

Although false morels are known for their similarities to true morels, this type of mushroom is highly poisonous and deadly.

What is a False Morel?

False morels are one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the morel family. This type of mushroom is known for its resemblance to true morels and it is very difficult to distinguish between the two.

False morels come from a species known as the Gyromitra morels. False morels contain hydrazine, which is a carcinogen. If consumed, it can cause liver inflammation and kidney failure.

False morels are reminiscent of a convoluted and indented brain in appearance. Their bodies are hollow inside but contain a cottony substance. Their colors can range from orange, burgundy, brown, and black. They are usually short and plump in stature. 

False morels are a highly poisonous mushroom species due to the highly toxic substances they contain, and if consumed, life-threatening symptoms can develop in a short time. 

Due to their similarity in appearance to the safe, true morel, inexperienced mushroom hunters who are just getting started should stay away from all morels for a while, until they get to know the species well.

What Are The Symptoms of False Morel Consumption?

You would develop the first symptoms of false morel poisoning between 2-6 hours after consumption. 

The most common of these symptoms are severe headaches, vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, diarrhea, and extreme fatigue. It is not uncommon for some people to experience psychological disorders, impaired muscle coordination, and abdominal pain as well.

False morels are highly poisonous, and left untreated false morel poisoning can lead to death.

Another long-term side effect of false morels is liver inflammation and kidney failure. Therefore, if you are not sure whether a mushroom is a true morel or false morel, do not risk eating it.

What Are The Differences Between a False Morel and a True Morel?

Although it is difficult to distinguish true morel from false morel, there are some differences in both. 

For example, false morels are filled with a base filamentous fiber-like substance, while true morels are empty inside. In addition, true morels have hats that are attached to the body. False morel hats grow separately from the stem.

True morels are usually yellow, cream, and gray, while false morels can be dark brown, burgundy, and black.

Are False Morels Really Toxic?

Although a group of researchers claims that false mushrooms are not as poisonous as they are known, there is no doubt that they are highly poisonous, especially when consumed raw.

This belief comes from a small group of specialized hunters that are equipped to identify false morels with low toxicity levels. Paired with an expert chef that knows how to properly remove the toxins, you can potentially end up with an edible false morel. 

However, this is a highly risky and specialist endeavor. It is not recommended that regular mushroom hunters or members of the public attempt to find and cook a false morel.

This type of mushroom, which causes severe symptoms if consumed raw or incorrectly prepared, is not preferred by mushroom hunters due to the high amount of toxins it contains. 

Do False Morels Taste Good?

Although False morels taste like true morel mushrooms, they are not as delicious. False morels, which have a heavier taste and odor due to the toxic substances they contain, leave a nutty and earthy taste in the mouth when eaten – just like true morels.

True morels, on the other hand, are one of the mushroom species that are easier to digest and very tasty indeed. they have a combination of potential flavors depending on their age and where they grew.

Morels, which are among the best mushrooms in the world in terms of taste, are highly prized by cooks who are always enthusiastic to add to their menus.

Do False Morels Come Up Before Morels?

False morels grow in the same season as true morels. False morels, which usually appear at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, are frequently seen between May and June like true morels.

False morels prefer to grow after in heavy rain and in humid areas. Similar to true morels, they establish themselves in cooler climates.

Where Are False Morels Found?

False morels are commonly found under glass conifers in North America, Canada, and across Europe. However, it is possible to find false morels in areas where true morels are present 

Morels usually inhabit woodlands and tree margins. It is also very likely that you will come across morels after forest fires. 

Some morel species grow on the edge of melting snow waters in mountainous areas.

Are False Morels Hollow?

False morels are not hollow. When you open the inside of false morels, you will find filamentous white fibers that are cotton-like to the touch.

True morels are hollow, this is one of the biggest differences between true and false morels, and helps mushroom hunters distinguish between the two.

Are False Morels Poisonous to Dogs?

False morels can poison dogs as well as humans. The toxic substances in any poisonous mushroom can cause grave illness and sudden death in dogs if consumed. 

Therefore, if you see your dog gnawing a mushroom they have found, take it from them and destroy it. Keep an eye on them for an hour or so and if they appear to manifest symptoms, take them to a vet immediately.

Amanitas, false morels, and small browns are the three most dangerous mushroom species in the world and affect both dogs and humans alike.

What Mushrooms Looks Like a Brain?

The Gyromitra Escalanta, also known as the false morel, is known for its brain-like hat structure. 

This highly poisonous species is confused by mushroom hunters for its resemblance to the true morel mushroom.

Do False Morels Have a Genetic Relationship to True Morels?

False morels and True morels both come from the Pezizales family, but False morels belong to the genus Gyromitra branch of this family tree. 

Although they come from the same root as a family, these two mushroom species are completely different from each other and are similar only in appearance.