MORELS & FALSE MORELS of the Pacific Northwest

by Ian Gibson, South Vancouver Island Mycological Society
Copyright © Pacific Northwest Key Council, 2007, 2009


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. 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.

A comprehensive key to Morchellaceae is not yet possible for the good reason that the taxonomy is not worked out. It is easy to distinguish the thimble morels (Verpa conica and Verpa bohemica) from true morels (Morchella), but it is not clear yet how many common species of Morchella there are in the Pacific Northwest. A detailed introduction with descriptions is found in MORCHELLACEAE in the Pacific Northwest


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