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Tulip Morel
Morchella diminutiva and M. sceptriformis

So, there are black, yellow, and tulip morels that grow in Virginia. I am pretty sure the ones I have found are of the Tulip variety. Those are characterized by ridges that primarily run up and down the mushroom. Even though I’ve found a whole slew of them, I only have this one photo in the wild.

Unfortunately these are some of the smallest morels, so you have to find a bunch to make a meal! But ooooooooh are they delicious. The first time I ever ate a morel (my Uncle had found some) I was like, mushrooms can taste like THIS?

Like chantrelles, this mushroom is mycorrhizal with trees, it can’t be grown in artificial culture. All the more reason it’s such a gift to find it in the wild!

Size: around 3-12.5cm tall and 1-3.5cm wide
Family: Morchellaceae
Habitat: Typically like to grow under and around mature Tulip Poplars in moist areas. Can also be found near ash, hickory, apple, and honestly I've found them among some pines.
Identification: "Like all morels, these have a single hollow chamber that runs from the base of the stipe to the tip of the head.  What separates them from the other morels are their size, coloration, and arrangement of ridges and pits.  Tulip Morels are some of the smallest morels, typically growing 3-12.5cm tall and 1-3.5cm wide.  The ridges on their heads start out whitish and darken to yellowish or tan when mature and may darken further to orangish-brown when very old.  Ridges primarily run up and down, frequently traveling from the tip to the base of the head.  Shorter ridges run horizontally at irregular intervals to connect the vertical ridges.  The ridges join directly to the stipe.  The pits of Tulip Morels start out greyish but become yellow to tan – nearly the same color as the ridges – when mature.  Some people call young yellow morels “grey morels” because of the grey color of pits." From fungusfactfriday.com Fruits March-May, depending on weather (soil temp needs to reach around 54 degrees F for around 3-4 days)
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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