Morchella sp. (esculenta, deliciosa, crassipes, augusticeps, conica, elata)

AKA: Yellows/Blondes, Blacks, Molly moochers, merkels, dryland fish, sponge morel, haystack


Grows on ground, either singular (blacks more than yellows) or in clusters (yellows more than blacks). Can be yellow/blonde, black, gray or brownish but NEVER reddish, has ridges and pits on cap (“honeycombed”), hollow cross section of both cap and stem, cap attached to stalk, white to yellowish hollow stem, conical cap

Coolness Factor:

Morels are packed with vitamins and minerals, including fiber, iron, potassium and vitamin D.

Where Found:

Blacks – ash, poplar, pine, sycamore; blacks really like burned areas
Yellows – elm and other hardwood trees, old apple orchards

Saprotrophic – feeds on decaying organic matter (Hint: look for DEAD and DYING trees)


Go to the trees! Morels associate with certain dead or dying trees. Look all around the tree in a radius about as tall as the tree. Morels can grow anywhere on the root system.
Squat, crouch and move stuff out of the way. They are surprisingly good at hiding!


With their deeper pits and ridges, morels can often hide a bit of dirt, and the occasional bug. No biggie. A brush works well for this purpose. A bit of water does not hurt either, but we generally do not recommend soaking in salt water as some feel the need to do.


Morels are probably one of the most versatile mushrooms to cook with. They are often included in cream-based dishes, with red meat, in sauces or stand alone. However, personal opinion is that they go well with most dishes. Sauté, fry, broil, deep fry… they all work well!


Preferred method for preserving morels is definitely dehydrating. They rehydrate very well and maintain more of their flavor and texture. Freezing either raw or cooked is also an option but the morels may lose a bit in the process.

Look Alikes:

False Morels (Gyromitra esculenta) – NOT hollow (have chambers), reddish color, not uniformly shaped/not conical, irregular “brain-like” shape