Observation 130078: Gyromitra korfii (Raitv.) Harmaja

When: 2013-03-10

Collection location: Kahite Trail, Vonore, Tennessee, USA [Click for map]

35.6695° -84.2371° 259m

Who: Christine Braaten (wintersbefore)

Specimen available

On soil under Juniperus virginiana and other hardwoods.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
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2011 WA evidence inconclusive…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-03-13 17:37:14 EET (+0200)

here’s the quote from Beug’s article:

“A Washington State resident suffered liver failure after
consuming “snow morels”, presumably Gyromitra montana,
but no other information was available.”

“These very severe cases should give pause to those
individuals who still consume Gyromitra species. A
study is underway in California to study gyromitrin
levels in mushrooms and try to see if the western
mushrooms are safer than those of the upper mid-west.”

Identification of ingested mushrooms is always problematic.

We (BAMS, CA Poison Control and a local physician) are the folks who are attempting a toxicology study of the western Gyromitra species, in particular G. montanum…so far, inconclusive.

Liver failure seems highly unlikely for G. montanum, which at worst probably has trace amounts of gyromitrin.

The NAMA 30 year “evidence” for montanum is quite similar to simple morel poisonings. Again, hard to know what those folks ate, with mostly just GI effects.

I do not recommend that anyone eat any species of Gyromitra; I am just not wholly convinced by the evidence currently at hand that our western G. montanum is dangerously poisonous.

in WA
By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2013-03-13 04:09:43 EET (+0200)

2011 Case in WA involving them

I am still looking for more specific papers that I have read.

By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2013-03-13 04:03:53 EET (+0200)

Here is a good document on them that available.


I will see if I can access the others that are more specific.

Back about 17 years or so…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-03-13 02:54:23 EET (+0200)

coming off a very snowy winter, I ran across a massive fruiting on a ridgetop in oak woods during a sunny period in late March. Some specimens were well over 0.5 pound.

Gyromita korfii
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2013-03-13 02:48:23 EET (+0200)

Will fruit under a variety of broadleaf trees. A couple years ago I found a solitary fruiting within a few feet of a single fruiting of G. brunnea. That day I did not see another fruiting of either one. Locally in Ohio, Gyromitra korfii is our most common false morel and is the first to fruit.

By: Phil Yeager (gunchky)
2013-03-13 00:44:10 EET (+0200)

Christine, have you ever found Morchella punctipes and/or Verpa conica growing near these. In 2011 I found all three growing under ash trees in the same area.

got references for those poisonings in the west, John?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-03-12 17:57:17 EET (+0200)

I know of only one.

We are still in process of attempting to test G. montanum (formerly gigas) for the presence of gyromitrin. Even we in the west who don’t recommend eating any of the Gyromitras believe that this particular species is, by the vast majority of accounts, harmless.

Please send me the links privately, if you would prefer.

Thanks for the update, John.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-03-12 13:37:17 EET (+0200)

Once upon a time, G. gigas had been listed as a choice edible.

By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2013-03-12 07:42:01 EET (+0200)

It is considered toxic and so is G. montanum/gigas in CA. The west coast one has over 10 cases of poisonings that I am aware of.

I have experimented…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-03-11 20:42:59 EET (+0200)

with eating a small amount of well-cooked G. korfii; no ill effects. But with this genus, the danger may come from an accumulation of ingested toxin. So I try to manage to wait for the true morels before making my first “forager’s quiche” of the year :-)

This type certainly looks like photos of G. gigas I have seen. From what I’ve read, the spores (as well as the fruit bodies) of G. korfii are smaller than the western NA G. gigas.

Older field guides appear to have misapplied the name Gyromitra fastigiata to this type mushroom. G. brunnea is similar, but with sharper “cusps” along the cap surface… as opposed to the smoother folds of G. korfii.

be careful however..
By: Jonathan M
2013-03-11 14:03:26 EET (+0200)

some gyromitra can be deadly when not properly cook! i don’t know about G korfii however.

These are
By: Christine Braaten (wintersbefore)
2013-03-11 12:59:15 EET (+0200)

supposed to be a good edible, I’ve never eaten them. I will try and get some microscope photos too.

got micro?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-03-11 04:14:03 EET (+0200)

I’m curious. We don’t get this in the west.

Is this one considered one of the non-toxic gyro’s like G. montanum/gigas in CA?

By: Rocky Houghtby
2013-03-11 02:06:52 EET (+0200)

Pox on you southerners. Also, Congrats! Happy spring!

I know!
By: Christine Braaten (wintersbefore)
2013-03-11 02:01:50 EET (+0200)

I’m thinking 3 more weeks and I will see morels.

By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2013-03-11 01:35:25 EET (+0200)

A spring mushroom.

Created: 2013-03-10 22:22:20 EET (+0200)
Last modified: 2013-03-13 00:18:47 EET (+0200)
Viewed: 266 times, last viewed: 2017-11-07 03:34:20 EET (+0200)
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