When: 2014-05-15

Collection location: Danville, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Same exact location as…

I’ve been collecting at this location for about 5 years. I have always seen a few with the pale flattened ridges mixed in among the other elm morels. But this year a somewhat isolated fruiting has occurred where two newly dead trees appear to be associated exclusively with this type morel. Several of the specimens featured the large contextual lumps on then upper stipe, as seen in the one photo. Also, the ridges are very grainy, as seen in closeup.

The two existing options for assigning a species name here appear to be americana = esculentoides = populina =? rigida =? californica, and ulmaria = cryptica. Although the Kuo report states that esculentoides and cryptica cannot be separated macroscopically (even microscopic separation is suggested as dubious), descriptions of ulmaria = cryprica mention the flattened pal ridges.

The ridges do appear to be thinner for mature specimens.


Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight: Pale flattened ridges show little maturity-related color change.
Used references: Big Asco book. Also, M. cryptica.
58% (1)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
I think think that at least several Morchella species…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-05-24 01:35:15 CDT (-0400)

are essentially mycorrhizal, with a saprobic phase that begins when the symbiote dies.

By: Rocky Houghtby
2014-05-23 22:36:28 CDT (-0400)

The fungus is vectored in by beetles.

Some are thinner, yes.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-05-23 20:37:44 CDT (-0400)

And some are much more flattened. I see the yellow coloration, though, on several.

I’d say M. ulmaria may well be mycorrhizal.

Last photo…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-05-23 19:24:37 CDT (-0400)

shows specimen that sprouted during the 7 day interval between 5/15 and 5/22. Same location. Same flattened ridges, but color more yellow with the 5/22 specimen.

The host elms (2 of them in this case)…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-05-16 11:28:42 CDT (-0400)

were each ones that died during the past year. This is typical. There will be more morels in this 2-3 acre elm grove next year, after a few other trees die this year. These types of morels, IMO, are almost certainly mycorrhizal… or at least the associated fungus undergoes this phase, probably for many years. The fungus associates with the elm tree, but the large fruitings of morels occur when the food source (live host tree) is removed. At this point it seems plausible that the fungus takes on the role of saprobe, tapping whatever nutrients are still available for the purpose of reproduction.

I believe this synopsis is in accordance with the “nutrient deprivation” hypothesis put forth by… Volk, et al.

I think the apple tree morels and the fire morels probably work the same way. Difference with the apple tree morels (which fruit under the same dying tree for years) is that apple trees die slowly, in a piecemeal fashion. The elms die quickly. The pines (in a fire) die or are severely compromised quickly.

Maybe these somewhat unusual pale thick ridged morels seen in this obs are an undocumented species? But for now, we have only the available names to apply, and I think this is the sensible taxonomic approach. Given that M. americana features variable macro featutres, and than M. ulmaria is described as a “cryptic” species, until we have another more-applicable name, we are left with these two possibilities. And, without DNA analysis applied to a given collection, the best we may do is rely upon potentially dubious features like “pale flattened ridges” as a means of applying a species name. Confidence level, as per MO, is a nice way of factoring in appropriate doubt.

The two different collections of pale-ridged (same patch in Danville) morels I recently posted show, IMO, the same species throughout. The other Danville morels (macro features more classically “esculenta”) look like what we may confidently call Morchella americana… at least for the next few months :-)

Thanks, Dave.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-05-16 07:14:38 CDT (-0400)

While the ridges of photos 2,3,4 don’t appear to be as blunt as in 165184, there is still some thickness present. A cross-section photo would also be helpful, I think.

In 165184 ridge bluntness seems to be almost creating discrete pores in hymenium, this obs. seems to be less so.

Curious this species is found with recently dead elm. Could you estimate how recently tree death occurred? If death occurred within the last 2 years, the species in question might still be mycorrhizal. At least it seems so to me.

At Paul Bishop’s Tree Farm, up to 2 years after trees were cut large flushes of Tuber gibbosum and T. oregonense continued to appear. All Tubers are presumed mycorrhizal.

Created: 2014-05-16 03:59:45 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2018-05-16 07:58:17 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 145 times, last viewed: 2019-05-28 17:19:34 CDT (-0400)
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