When: 2011-04-20

Collection location: Northern Sierra, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)

Specimen available

found at 2,200’ elevation.

Species Lists


found by David Rust.

Proposed Names

15% (6)
Recognized by sight: early morel at burn site.
17% (6)
Used references: Kuo M., Dewsbury D.R., O’donnell K., Rehner S.A., Moore J.D., Moncalvo J., Canfield S.A., Carter M., Stephenson S.L., Methven A., & Volk T.J. “Taxonomic revision of true morels (Morchella) in Canada and the United States.” Mycologia 104.2 (2012): PDF.
-25% (2)
Recognized by sight: Without micro-morphology, it’s a guess. Morchella exuberans is the most Morchella importuna-like burn species.
29% (5)
Recognized by sight: You claim to have a specimen; first step is to scope it; either confirm Morchella exuberans, or point you towards _M. septimelata/M. eximia _ . This does not look like some of the other undescribed species in CA.
-9% (2)
Recognized by sight: blondish color, vertical pits, sinus.
Used references: compare with very similar DNA IDed tridentina here: http://mushroomobserver.org/241373?q=4euA

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
OK Noah, I’ll bite
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-30 16:17:02 CDT (-0400)

I also agree that this morel resembles two species, both of which I voted “could be.”

How bout you?

Methinks thou dost protest too much over this “partial” fb … just what is it missing? some mystery bulbous base that would magically make this a slam dunk ID? That packed and convoluted interior that JUST MANAGED to be cut out of that fb??! It is CERTAINLY not exuberans, which was your initial absurd proposal. Forget about the possible burn habitat; that was probably a red herring.

With its blondish color and vertical pits, it could only be two morels. I voted for both.

Your game is less transparent.

On 4/20/11 when this obsie was first posted, there was a specimen. By the time you showed up, in 2017, it was long gone.

Timing is everything.

as well as
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-30 15:58:18 CDT (-0400)

lurkers in the mist!

how bout putting up some real data here, Noee?

Guess that ole Bojantchev was right, after all: everyone reads everything.

Here comes the eyeballs!

myco-reality is…
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2017-04-30 14:58:52 CDT (-0400)

We have a photo of a partial fruitbody, of a morel that doesn’t even exist anymore, which resemble a couple of the name proposed. Sounds like the perfect fit for Morchella sect. Distantes…

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-30 13:25:05 CDT (-0400)

almost 300 eyeballs here and so much didactic voting!

all for a morel that doesn’t even exist anymore, but does resemble a couple of the name proposals with even our limited macro morph data.

when does a mushroom obsie stop being about a mushroom, and start just being about personalities and their clashes?

I’d say we’ve gotten pretty darned Distante over myco-reality here.

not everyone is ungenerous with images.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-16 10:54:46 CDT (-0400)

here is photo documentation by Hugh Smith, of DNA determined examples of Morchella exuberans. Hugh provided the type specimen for this species, first published by Clowez, and DNA matched to Kuo’s capitata a few years later.

Comparing the “exuberant” form of exuberans to this tall, narrow, discretely laddered, non-burn morel with a simple stipe is absurd on the face of it.

Here is a link to Hugh’s images that I just put up on MO; compare with Kuo’s:



just corresponded w/Mike Beug
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-15 13:32:40 CDT (-0400)

you know, the guy that wrote that recent major book on Ascomycetes of NA?

He has been sharing morel info and photos with me for my upcoming presentation. He, in contrast to certain others, actually is a sharing and caring kinda guy.

I asked about importuna and burns, in his experience. He stated:

“M. importuna would often be on the edge of burns where there was disturbance by the fire fighters.” As some of you probably know, importuna is far more common in the PNW than in CA.

We have likelihood, proper habitat, macro morph, and only specious comparisons to “similar” burn morels. My friend Hugh Smith sent the type specimen of M. exuberans to Clowez, and has many photos of that species. They are mostly gnarly critters, contorted and with ridiculously convoluted interiors, right up to that cap, so hardly “just at the base” like Noah was attempting to say here, but of course, not demonstrating in any way.

When someone makes claims and can’t really back them up, well, I dismiss those claims.

I still believe that this is an example of importuna, as first suggested by Danny, and rejected by me at the time due to its habitat. I am now convinced that importuna is the proper name.

There is a preponderance of hard data in its favor. No DNA or micro necessary, in this case. This is all of the evidence that we will ever have for this specimen, and I am convinced on the face of it.

silly boy
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-13 18:51:50 CDT (-0400)

you didn’t even LOOK at those photos, did you? That “stuffed base” goes quite a ways up; this morel is blissfuly hollow. You are grasping at straws, and not the only one to do so.

I have been talking to David about this collection (I didn’t go, nor did I “cut” the morel). This particular morel was an early fruiter, which also fits w/importuna (almost nothing was fruiting at elevation, even low elevation), and it was the only one brought home. it was not apparently a burn morel at all, altho David and others did go look at a burn, and that was what I reported here.

my “wet zone” morels are an attempt to make sense of Kuo’s remarks on eximia, that they frequently are found near water. we are all attempting to make sense of these confusing mushrooms. I am not afraid of going out on a limb … the point here is to gather info. If evidence proves me wrong, I am the first to admit it.

Want me to run DNA? Please feel free to share some of your recent foray profits with me, and I will run any future morel you’d like! Or is that money all dedicated to Santa Cruz specimen “only,” like the last big windfall?

And why not share the morel images here on MO that you have with known DNA? That would be quite helpful to the community. Wait, let me guess, because you want to make money offa it, instead! Great, but you are in the wrong place for that. This is a sharing site, not a way to create response potential for your next book.

Deja vu, all over again.

Yes Noah, we all know that mushrooms are variable, and morels are particularly puzzling. But thanks for stating the obvious here. Surely someone in the 8,000+ folks reading didn’t know that. The most valuable of my specimens already are in herbaria, and there are many more here at home with me. Morels swing both ways, tho. They are edible specimens.

And speaking of selfish acts resulting in bad karma, if Kuo had only responded to Clowez the several times that he wrote him in good faith, they could have worked together, instead of inadvertently against each other. Clowez won in the karmic justice department, even if Kuo’s work was deeper.

Funny how life works sometimes.

Have fun, and cheer up. Surely there’s another “puppy” to kick right around the corner! One that doesn’t bite back.

I’d love to trade quips with you all day, but I have work to do. Don’t you?


Kuo, et.al
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2017-04-13 18:10:44 CDT (-0400)

said in the description “in the stipe sometimes layered or chambered, especially near the base.”. Which, we wouldn’t know here, because you cut off the base.

There are noticeable differences to some of these so called “’cryptic” species of black morels; you seem to get caught up on single features. Morel fruitbodies are variable; within a range. We just have to figure out that range, and describe it. Most of Kuo’s western species were described with a limited number of collections, or experience with seeing the variability of them.

Do what Terri is doing in Arizona, and what others are doing in California; collect morels, do micro on them, do DNA (or have it done for you), and then apply names, not make them up as you go, because “it’s growing in a wet area, it has to be M. eximia” doesn’t get you far. Look what happened when Clowez slapped names willy-nilly on morels; throw enough shit at the wall, some is bound to stick. But, in the process you lose all credibility, as you make mistake after mistake.

(Plus put your specimens in an actual herbarium, not the food jar in your pantry).

and speaking of charming colleagues
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-13 16:42:18 CDT (-0400)

here’s a rather nice photo of importuna by one of yours.
amazingly similar to mine, n’est ce pas?


“one” does not pull images from MO
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-13 16:27:34 CDT (-0400)

in a fit of pique, either. Well, at least I don’t.

It was around for a while, no one requested it for examination, and then it got put on the edible pile. Yum! It was a judgement call, and ours to make.

No worries tho, I don’t do that with the specimen Amanitas in section Phalloidea.

BTW, can’t be exuberans, due to that simple and hollow stipe. Here’s the quote from Kuo, in his “capitata” description:

Stem: … chambered and layered inside (often densely so), even when young.

See his photo on ME, if you need better visualization. Clowez also showed that chambered stipe.

Not sure what it is, but it certainly resembles importuna (not AS IF exuberans!!!). Our natural morels seem to be able to fruit anywhere; why not at the edge of a burn?

Jury is still out, but my best guess is still importuna.

We all look forward to seeing your work, with photos, here on MO!

Cause we know that you are a sharing and caring kinda guy.

“Herbarium specimen reported”
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2017-04-13 16:14:06 CDT (-0400)

One does not eat herbarium specimens…

shoulda asked about this specimen
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-13 16:08:17 CDT (-0400)

back in 2011 Noee. I believe we ended up eating it.

On the other hand, how about putting up some of YOUR morel photos here in MO? Esp. ones that you have done the DNA on, and know the names of!

you know Terri
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-12 09:52:13 CDT (-0400)

a vote isn’t really “anonymous” if we know exactly who is voting it!

this is classic importuna. the only reason I vacillated when it was first posted here was because it didn’t come from “wood chips.” But we, or at least I and others, now know that wood chips are not the only place that it grows.

with time and more experience
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-04-11 19:50:47 CDT (-0400)

I have found several collections of importuna here in CA outside of “wood chip” habitat.

it does look superficially similar to M. “importuna”…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-04-22 18:23:15 CDT (-0400)

but this was no wood-chip habitat.

More info from Winkler…..
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-04-22 18:16:40 CDT (-0400)

“Taxonomy of American morels is not very clear yet. So far this morel was clustered in the M. elata group. The closet description is on Michael Kuo’s The Mushroom Expert webpages as Taxon #J "Its cap features vertically arranged pits and ridges that develop a “laddered” appearance (with sunken, horizontal cross-ribs), and its stem is fairly dark when young. MDCP collections have come only from landscaping areas in the Pacific Northwest, suggesting that Taxon J may be an introduced organism." Michael told me it will soon be described as Morchella importuna."

-Daniel Winkler from http://www.danielwinkler.com/id140.htm

Daniel Winkler of the PSMS
By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2011-04-22 13:55:56 CDT (-0400)

Was the one who first mentioned to me that Morchella “importuna” was going to be published. I do not remember who was working on it.

Kuo refers to it as “Taxon J”
By: BlueCanoe
2011-04-22 13:39:06 CDT (-0400)

His description of the PNW wood chip morel is the only “expert” information about them that I’ve found on the web: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/mdcp/results_legend.html

this looks a lot like the PNW early woodchip morel:
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-04-22 12:58:26 CDT (-0400)

Morchella “importuna,” with its ladderlike rows of pits.

Supposedly this species is in publication. Any more info about it, anywhere accessible? It has been mentioned on the PSMS yahoogroups site and the Shroomery, and there are a few photos of it here on MO.