When: 2012-04-13

Collection location: Beaver Creek State Park, Columbiana Co., Ohio, USA [Click for map]

Who: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)

No specimen available

Under apple tree.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight
-39% (2)
Recognized by sight: common yellow morel.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2015-05-16 11:39:06 NZST (+1200)

I tend to agree regarding field ID of morels. Like everyone I am frustrated by the 2 sets of names. I also think that the situation remains unsettled and there will be more species (Oh No!)and possibly some consolidation. More DNA work needs to be done. Nice article Debbie.

what I think is that it is sometimes impossible to get morels to a species.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-05-16 02:27:00 NZST (+1200)

at least in hand.

there is quite a bit of species description overlap. Both americana and prava are described as having random pits. Both can be found in orchards and near water. Both start out with thick pale ridges and darker pits, and then change to blonde (or not, in the case of some DNA determined prava). Prava supposedly retains those thick ridges over time, whereas americana has ridges that thin out.

How distorted is distorted? It is surely unclear to me, from looking at the photos here in MO and the ID guesses, which is all that they are, in the case of morpho similar morels, without some sort of habitat uniqueness or DNA confirmation.

The reason that I am beating my head against this wall recently is that I just wrote up a webpage on CA morels for the BAMS website … and I am testing my knowledge. In theory we also get prava here in the west, but it has not yet been confirmed for the state.

If you want to see the current state of morel nomenclature and identification in CA, subject to revision as we learn more, go here:


I’m pretty certain that I have collected…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2015-05-15 11:24:12 NZST (+1200)

all of… M. americana (=M. esculentoides), M. ulmaria (=M. cryptica), and M. prava over the past twenty-some years. But I’m still finding it difficult to use these names with high confidence.

I have encountered oddly-shaped morels with very dark pits that seem to fit the description of prava. Most have come from apple orchards, one orchard in particular that is mostly well shaded with soil that does not dry out as quickly as other spots. But not all of the morels from this long unattended orchard are oddly-shaped or with dark pits. Some strikingly yellow morels, with very pale pits, have come from under one tree where plenty of sunshine reaches the ground. So I wonder how much of the macro-variability is due to habitat.

Kuo’s explanation of prava puts it into areas near water sources.

a “mature” prava is yellow.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-05-15 04:54:45 NZST (+1200)

wouldn’t these be more of a case of “arrested development?”

I have absolutely NO direct experience with prava, but I am trying to get a handle on the morpho-differences between prava and americana.

These were mature
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2015-05-15 04:46:46 NZST (+1200)

and were very different from the M.americana types seen the same day under elms.

still trying to get a handle on the diffs …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-05-15 04:34:31 NZST (+1200)

between prava and americana.

shouldn’t prava be more deformed looking? americana starts out looking like this, too. how common is it that americana stay in an immature state like this? do we know?

DNA confirmation may be the only way to determine species when the morpho is just not distinctive.

By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2012-04-29 07:51:32 NZST (+1200)

These have pale ridges and dark pits even when mature. I think it is the same species as the white morel in Roody’s WV guide, page 486. In my opinion it is not the same as the gray morels that turn yellow-buff in age.

Walt, those look like the
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-04-29 07:39:07 NZST (+1200)

apple orchard morels I get in some of my spots, gray with dark pits when young. Do you think this type is different from esculentoides?