Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Awesome Fungi: A 1.25 lb Morel!

Each week, Awesome Fungi puts the spotlight on a mushroom species that is simply awesome. This week we take a look at a real monster of a morel:

The City Bay Times has released an article in which a Michigan resident by the name of Charley Robinson has come across a morel that was 17 inches in girth and weighed 1.25 pounds! (The particular species wasn't mentioned) Unfortunately there was no photo associated with the article, but Robinson was kind enough to give some sage advice from his 60 year MH career.
Here are some highlights:

  • Robinson waits to pick his morel finds until they are "a little dry". He says this is an indicator that the mushroom has stopped growing.
  • According to the article, Robinson uses an ingenuous trick involving wood ash. He apparently spreads the ash in areas he has found morels before. The article omits the exact details of the process, but the idea of manipulating the morel's fondness of burnt substrate is pure genius!
  • Robinson looks for black morels (Morchella elata) in poplar forests and large blond morels (Morchella esculenta) in the mixed beech maple forests.
To read more of Robinson's tips or to read the whole story, follow the link above.