Yellow Morel

(Morchella esculentoides)

Conservation Status
Yellow Morel
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Yellow Morel is a common, easily recognized mushroom. Morels are one of the “Foolproof Four”, the four most easily identified mushrooms.

It is found growing alone, scattered, or clustered on the ground under hardwoods, often poking through leaf litter.

The cap is hollow; usually egg-shaped with a blunt, cone-shaped tip; 1¼ to 4¼ long; and ¾ to 2wide. Sometimes it is round, cone-shaped, or irregular in shape. It is deeply pitted with irregularly shaped and randomly oriented pits. The edges of the pits are broadly angled, not sharp. The overall color of the cap is yellowish-brown. When young the cap is shallowly pitted, the ridges are yellow or whitish, and the pits are grayish-brown or dark brown. When mature the cap is deeply pitted and the ridges are the same color or slightly paler than the pits. The ridges do not darken or turn black with age. The margin of the cap is attached directly to the stalk but it is often creased at that point and may appear unattached.

The stalk is usually to 2 long, and to 1thick, usually shorter than the cap. In favorable conditions it may get much longer with age. It is hollow; whitish, pale yellowish-brown, or tan; and usually granular.


Similar Species

  False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta) surface is folded, not pitted. The cap is not completely fused to the stalk. The stalk is not hollow. Poisonous.  
Habitat and Hosts

A wide variety of habitats, but especially in deciduous forests under a hardwood tree.






Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30.





  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Ascomycota (sac fungi)  
  Subphylum Pezizomycotina  
  Class Pezizomycetes  
  Subclass Pezizomycetidae  




Morchellaceae (morels and allies)  


Morchella (true morels)  
  Section Morchella (esculenta clade)  

This species was formerly knows as Morchella esculenta, a species common in both Europe and the United States. Recent extensive sampling showed the species to be endemic to Europe and the name could not be applied to North American morels. A taxonomic revision of Morchella published in 2017 renamed the North American morels previously known as M. esculenta as M. esculentoides.




Morchella esculenta


Common Names


Common Morel

Yellow Morel










State mushroom

Yellow Morel is the state mushroom of Minnesota.









Where to look

Morel hunters are notoriously loath to part with information about the location of morels, and will often give disinformation to those who ask. This is a tradition among morel hunters. Most print and online sources agree, however, that morels are often found at the base of elm trees that are either dead or are infected with dutch elm disease and dying.







Visitor Photos

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Bill Reynolds

    Yellow Morel   Yellow Morel  
    Yellow Morel   Yellow Morel  
    Yellow Morel   Yellow Morel  



Morchella esculentoides (Yellow Morel)
Allen Chartier
  Morchella esculentoides (Yellow Morel)  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Morchella esculentoides The White Morel
Jack Skrceny

Uploaded on Mar 28, 2007

A quick look at Morchella esculentoides. One of Michigan's spring time fungi. In Michigan, I think there are more morel pickers than deer hunters !

  The Mushroom Whisperer's
Jack Skrceny

Uploaded on May 11, 2009

Morchella esculentoides and Morchella Semilibera hunting May 10, 2009. A beautiful and productive day to be in the woods !!

  Morel Mushroom (Ascomycetes: Morchella esculentoides)
Carl Barrentine

Published on Jun 11, 2013

A mycological treat for epicurean foodies, a 20 cm Yellow Morel (Morchella esculentoides)! Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (11 June 2013).

  Morel mushrooms Morchella esculentoides

Published on May 11, 2012

How to identify and find morels!




Visitor Sightings

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  Bill Reynolds

Location: Pennington Co Minnesota

I just check this area yesterday and not a sign.  Today, a couple of Morels freshly popping up.

Yes, that is Poison Ivy

Yellow Morel  




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