Pictures of Morel Mushrooms

How to Identify Morel Mushrooms - Both True and False Morels

When you'd like to go hunting for morel mushrooms, pictures of morel mushrooms are very helpful in learning the difference between true morels and poisonous false morels. True morel mushrooms, Morchella, are  edible sac fungi with a distinctive honeycomb appearance due to the network of ridges with pits composing their caps. The toxic false morels look different.

Just as those who study genuine currency can easily spot the fake bills, our hope is that as you study these pictures of morel mushrooms and become thoroughly acquainted with what the true morel mushrooms look like, you'll immediately recognize false morels when you're out foraging.

If you're unsure, simply cut the morel mushroom from the top to the bottom. As you'll see in the photos below, a true morel is completely hollow inside. The false is filled with webbing and fiber. 

Pictures of Morel Mushrooms
The True Morels

Studying all of these photos of morel mushrooms, you will also see the environments in which you are most likely to find them when you're out hunting for morel mushrooms. Look for all the clues! 

Elusive Morel Mushrooms Often Hide in Plain Sight

These pictures of morel mushrooms show how they can be very well camouflaged among the dry leaves and forest floor debris. There is a learning curve when it comes to training your eyes and brain to see morel mushrooms as they're often hiding in plain sight! 

Sometimes you have to look very closely to find these little hidden treasures! It's important to always look where you're about to step because you can easily step on the mushrooms and damage them. A walking stick helps to gently lift leaves and move twigs. Studying these photos will help you see them quicker when you're out looking for them. 

How to Pick Morel Mushrooms

Finding morel mushrooms is an exciting adventure. For a review on picking them, here's another of our morel mushroom hunting tips: Don't pull the morel mushrooms up by their roots. 

In the soil, just under the surface of the ground, morel mushrooms have a fragile root system. We don't know if this has been scientifically proven, but according to many mushroom hunters, simply pulling morel mushrooms up with the roots can damage their underground parts. 

Cut or snap the mushrooms near the base of the stem so you don't disturb this delicate root system.

We'd suggest foraging with a pocket knife so that you can cut the morel mushrooms off above the ground. Keeping the pocket knife closed unless using it ensures that you won't get cut while hiking. If you don't have a pocket knife, very carefully pinch the stem and snap it off above the ground leaving the roots undisturbed.

Many believe that there is a better chance of finding morels in the same area the following year if you cut or snap their stems about half an inch above the base of the mushroom rather than pulling it out of the ground along with some of the root system.

And here's another morel mushroom hunting tip: when collecting morels, use a mesh bag instead of a plastic sack or solid fabric bag. Even a mesh onion bag from the grocery store works great! The mesh allows the morels' spores to fall out and be scattered as you continue hunting for morel mushrooms.

Bringing Home the Bounty

It's exciting to bring home the bounty that you've discovered on your treasure hunt! Back from the woods, we surveyed our collection of morel mushrooms. The next step is to cut them in half. If you're wondering how to identify morel mushrooms, having a visual of the inside is the best way to see real morel mushrooms vs false morels. True morels are totally hollow. 

Now what to do with them? After washing them and allowing them to dry, shake them in flour with a bit of salt, then fry up in a generous amount butter. So simple, so delicious!

And for more delicious ideas, we're happy to give you some suggestions on our soon-coming page, Morel Mushroom Recipes. You'll want to check out our Preserving Morel Mushrooms as well! 

Pictures of Morel Mushrooms - the False, Toxic Ones

Morel Mushroom vs False Morel

Pictures of morel mushrooms are indeed helpful in learning to identify the toxic ones as well! The true morel mushrooms are always hollow from the bottom of the stem up to the tip of the cap while their look-alikes, the false morels, are not. Always check the inside cross-section of morel mushrooms if you have the slightest doubt. Also, the attachment of the caps is different. Do further research if you're still in doubt. 

See our False Morel Mushrooms page for info and the dangerous effect of ingesting the false morel mushrooms.

After studying these pictures of morel mushrooms carefully, you should be able to see the differences between true morels and false morel mushrooms. If you're still unsure, here is some more information to help you identify a true morel mushroom vs false morels.  

Also, below you'll find a little video that reiterates what we've shared about the differences between the these "look-alike" morel mushrooms. 

In this video, Don King explains that the toxins in false morel mushrooms are dangerous. Just to be on the safe side, we'd recommend that you do not touch them. If you're spending a few hours hunting for morel mushrooms you may accidently touch your mouth. It's just not worth taking any chances. Food poisoning from morel mushrooms is not something you want to deal with. 

You'll also want to have a look at other Morel Mushroom Hunting Precautions. It's always good to know, before heading out to forage, different things to keep in mind, laws to respect, common dangers, and etiquette to be aware of. 

We have shown you what to look for and what not to touch with these visual tips for finding morel mushrooms. It is our desire to help you distinguish between the good, true morels and the false toxic morels. Having said these things, it is 100% your own responsibility to make sure that you know what you're eating. We do not take responsibility for you ingesting any mushrooms that have any adverse effects. 

We'd like to suggest that you bookmark this Pictures of Morel Mushrooms page on your phone, so that the next time you're out in the woods hunting for morel mushrooms, you'll have it handy to verify the morel mushrooms you find!

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