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The Black Morel: Identifying True Morel Species

The black morel is a very common form of true morel. The black morel is hollow and is usually has a growing season in April and early May. The cap of the black morel is conical and it is also elongated with vertically elongated pits and ridges. The ridges may either come in brownish black or black color. On the other hand, the pits are brownish yellow.

Additionally, the texture of the black morel is deeply pitted as well as hollow. The lower part of the cap is fitted to the stalk. Sometimes, the stalk is enlarged at the base. The base is white in color and has a granular texture and it is also hollow. When it comes to the spores they are highly magnified and look elliptical and smooth. The spores are found in the pits.

There are other types of false morels that looks exactly like the black morel. Some of the false morels include the G. caroliniana and the Gyromitra and are red in color. The false morels have a brain-shaped, lobed or wrinkled caps and numerous stalks that are not hollow as the real black morel.

The lower half of the cap usually hangs from the main plant. Therefore, to know the difference between the false morels and the real black morel is actually that the black morel is completely hollow while the false once are not hollow.

Darker Features of a Black morel mushroom

The size of black morel

The width of the black more measures between a ½ and 1 ½ inches, while the height of the morel measure from ½ to 2 inches. The length of the stalk measures about 2 to 4 inches and finally the width of the stalk measures between ½ and 1 ½ inches.

Habitat and conservation

The black morel usually grows in cluster. You may find them in disturbed areas, deciduous woods or places that have burnt recently. You can get them mostly under white ash, oak, tulip poplars and hickory.

According to DNA studies, the American morels have been reclassified again. The European and North American morels used to be in the same category, but not anymore. The morels are most categorized as part of the Morchella elata. Currently, the name is used in most European species.

Edibility

Black morels are an edible mushroom species. They are considered to be very delicious by most mushroom lovers; this delicacy is very apparent in the fact that morel price is quite high! You can cook them and add some nice butter or cream them and see what happens. If you get a lot of black morels, you can even dry them and store for future use.

One of the best way to prepare the black morels is by rolling them in corn meal or cracker crumbs and deep fry them.

Just like any other type of mushroom, you should never eat when they are raw, make sure you clean and cook morels thoroughly beforehand. Another great way of preparing black morels is by cutting them into slice and then soak them in salted water for some time. This helps to get rid of the insects from the mushrooms.

The life cycle of black morels

Mushrooms have been existing for thousands of years as mycelium– network of cells that get into the cell, or simple decaying material. When they are about to reproduce, the cells grow into mushrooms which in turn release spores, and as soon as they are released, they can start a new mycelia colony in another area.

For most part of its life cycle, the morel is a sapotroph feeding on rotting materials such as wood and dead leaves. On the other hand, it also may be mycorrhizal, meaning it also spends most of its time linked to tree roots, in what is known as a symbiotic relationship.

Human interactions

Humans have been consuming mushrooms for many years. Black morels are more costly because of their culinary value so many hunters love them. The mushroom hunting game has been practiced for thousands of generations, it is not only fun, but also exciting and rewarding.

the ecosystem of a black morelEcosystem interactions

Fungi and their bodies are also part of the natural environment that make up the ecosystem. They play a major role in forest health and longevity. Certain species of mushrooms nourish forest trees through the process of symbiosis. For this reason, many people choose to grow morel mushrooms alongside other plants in their garden.

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