Gyromitra esculenta (Pers.: Fr.) Fr.
false morel
Discinaceae

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

Photograph

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Map

E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Gyromitra esculenta
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Species Information

Odor:
mild (Ammirati(11))
Taste:
mild (Ammirati(11))
Microscopic:
spores 16.7-23.4 x 7.3-9.4 microns, elliptic, smooth, 8 spores per ascus, (Ammirati(11)), spores (17)19.1-28 x 10-13.1(14) microns, elliptic to subfusoid (somewhat spindle-shaped), smooth, with 2 droplets, apiculus absent or apices slightly thickened to 1 micron; asci 180-220 x 15-17 microns; paraphyses 2-9(10) microns diameter at apex, clavate, gradually enlarging or abruptly swollen, pale brown, brown in mass, contents granular, apical cell 39-77 microns long, (Abbott)
Spore Deposit:
white to ochraceous (Abbott)
EDIBILITY
dangerously poisonous, at least raw, (Arora)

Habitat and Range

SIMILAR SPECIES
Gyromitra infula and Gyromitra ambigua are somewhat similar but G. esculenta is more convoluted, fruits in spring and differs microscopically. Gyromitra montana has an irregular hollow stem with several internal anastomosing channels, whereas the hollow stem of Gyromitra esculenta is more or less round in cross-section, typically with one internal channel, or sometimes somewhat flattened with two internal channels.
Habitat
single, gregarious, subcespitose [somewhat tufted], or scattered on ground in soil, litter, woody debris, occasionally on well-rotted wood or burnt debris, under conifers or in mixed woods, in spring, (Abbott), typically found with conifers, especially pine, but has also been reported with aspen, (Ammirati(11)), March to May, (Phillips), on ground in disturbed or undisturbed mixed conifer and hardwood forests and occasionally in urban lawns, (Castellano), "associated with conifers and hardwoods and may be found on soil or rotten wood"; spring or early summer, (Trudell)