The morels and false morels have some similarity in general appearance. Fruitbodies normally have a distinct stipe (stem) and a head (cap) that is usually convoluted in some way (or saddle-shaped in the case of some false morels). Spores are borne on the outer surface (or in large pits in the outer surface). Presently they fall into two families, Helvellaceae and Morchellaceae.
The Trial Key to HELVELLACEAE in the Pacific Northwest was written by Harold Treibs and covers Discina, Gyromitra, and Helvella.
There is no comprehensive key to Morchellaceae for the good reason that the taxonomy is partly based on recent molecular research and the macroscopic appearances, ecology, and distribution are still being worked out. It is easy to distinguish the thimble morels (Verpa conica and Verpa bohemica) from true morels (Morchella). A detailed introduction is found in MORCHELLACEAE in the Pacific Northwest
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