Public Description of Gyromitra Fr.

Title: Public Description (Default)
Name: Gyromitra Fr.
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Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Discinaceae

General Description:

Medium to large, cup-, saddle- to brain-shaped fungi with a cap and stalk, fertile surface some shade of brown. Microscopic characters include: operculate asci, and cyanophilic spores with large, apiculate outgrowths. See, e.g., Arora1, Beug4, MycoKey15.
Click here for references and full description.


Some species of this genus have been eaten. But some have also caused deaths in Europe and North America. The toxin(s) of concern are hydrazine derivatives.2 4 6. See MO Description of Gyromitra esculenta.
Some species have been used for dyeing.3


1 Arora, Mushrooms Demystified (Ten Speed Press 2d ed. 1986)

2 Benjamin, Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas (W.H. Freeman & Co. 1995)

3 A.R. Bessette, A.E. Bessette, The Rainbow Beneath My Feet (Syracuse Univ. Press 2001)

4 Michael Beug, Alan E. Bessette, Arleen R. Bessette, Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide (Univ. of Texas Press 2014)

5 Castellano, Cazares, Fondrick, Dreisbach, Handbook to additional fungal species of special concern in the Northwest Forest Plan, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, General Technical Report PNW-GTR-572 (2003)

6 Duffy, Toxic Fungi of Western North America (a MykoWeb Page)

7 Gibson, Matchmaker, Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, Version 2.1.1 (Apr. 2014) (Windows application, downloadable at

8 Index Fungorum record 2184

9 M. Kuo, Morels (U. of Mich. Press 2005)

10 Kuo, M., MushroomExpert.Com

11 Lincoff, National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms (Alfred A. Knopf 1981)

12 McKenney, Stuntz & Ammirati, The New Savory Wild Mushroom (Univ. of Wash. Press 3d. ed.)

13 Methven, A.S., S.E. Zelski, and A.N. Miller. 2013. A molecular phylogenetic assessment of the genus Gyromitra in North America. Mycologia 105(5): 1306–1314. DOI: 10.3852/12-397

14 MycoBank #2184

15 MycoKey

16 Rogers Mushrooms

17 Trudell & Ammirati, Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (Timber Press 2009)

18 Weber NS. A morel hunter’s companion. A guide to the true and false morels of Michigan. Michigan Natural Resources Magazine (Lansing: Two Peninsula Press 1988).

19 Wikipedia, Gyromitra

20 Michael Wood & Fred Stevens, The Fungi of California (a MykoWeb Page)

21 Xin-Cun Wang & Wen-Ying Zhuang (2019) A three-locus phylogeny of Gyromitra (Discinaceae, Pezizales) and discovery of two cryptic species, Mycologia, 111:1, 69-77, DOI: 10.1080/00275514.2018.1515456


Many species are known as False Morels. See, e.g., Kuo.9

Description author: Johannes Harnisch (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Nathan Wilson, Joseph D. Cohen

Created: 2009-05-15 19:13:24 CDT (-0400) by Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
Last modified: 2019-06-05 15:56:32 CDT (-0400) by Joseph D. Cohen (Joe Cohen)
Viewed: 248 times, last viewed: 2019-06-15 18:28:41 CDT (-0400)