Snow Morel

(Gyromitra gigas)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Snow Morel

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Season

Spring and early summer

Habitat/Hosts

In forests under coniferous or hardwood trees


Identification

This is a common early mushroom in forests of North America. It is found in the spring and early summer alone, scattered, or in groups, on the ground or on rotten wood, under coniferous or hardwood trees, often poking through leaf litter. It is saprobic, obtaining nutrients from rotting wood, and might also be mycorrhizal, having a mutually beneficial relationship with the tiny rootlets of trees. It may exhibit both traits at different parts of its life cycle.

The cap is usually 1¼ to 4 wide and 1¼ to 2 high, but may be much larger. It is hollow, strongly and deeply wrinkled, highly convoluted, and brain-like. It is often squarish and blocky, and is usually compact, without strongly projecting lobes. The upper surface is dull, yellowish-brown or tan when young, becoming darker brown or reddish-brown with age. The margin of the cap is attached directly to the stalk but it is often ingrown at that point and may appear unattached.

The stalk is massive, ¾ to 4 tall and wide, about as wide as the cap. It is pale tan or whitish, hairless, and sometimes ribbed or longitudinally wavy or folded. It is often mostly or completely hidden by the closely appressed cap.

The flesh is brittle, thin, whitish, and chambered. It is edible if sautéed but not edible when raw. Some authors suggest that it be avoided due to its similarity in appearance to the poisonous False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta).

 
Similar
Species

False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta) is more erect. The stem is much narrower than the cap. The cap is less convoluted.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.


Comments

False Morel
Snow Morel is called a “false morel” due to its similarity in appearance and seasonality to true morels (Morchella spp.).

Species United
Until recently, two snow morels were recognized: Gyromitra montana in coniferous forests in the Rockies and westward, and Gyromitra korfii in hardwood forests east of the Rockies. An analysis of spore morphology in 2006 showed them to be the same species.


Taxonomy

Division:

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

 

No Rank:

saccharomyceta

 

Subdivision:

Pezizomycotina

 

Class:

Pezizomycetes (apothecial fungi)

 

Order:

Pezizales (cup fungi)

 

Family:

Discinaceae

 
Synonyms

Gyromitra korfii

Gyromitra montana

 
Common
Names

Bull Nose

Snow False Morel

Snowbank False Morel

Snow Morel

Snow Mushroom


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

mycorrhizal

A symbiotic, usually beneficial relationship between a fungus and the tiny rootlets of a plant, usually a tree.

 

saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

       

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walnut mushrooms that produce jet fuel when digested (gyromitra gigas) or also known as Montana mushroom new ingredient that I haven't worked with before nor ever heard of I was very excited to forage these with my friend Geneson

 
     
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MiWilderness
 
   
 
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Published on May 9, 2014

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5/7/2017

Location: Fillmore County

Snow Morel


     
     
 

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