Advice for morel hunters

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Many people harvest morels who don’t hunt other mushrooms because morels are relatively easy to identify and there aren’t any other mushrooms that are easily confused with them. True morels have pitted caps rather than ridges or folds or wrinkles, and the morel cap is attached to the hollow stem at its base. The so-called false morels have caps attached only at the top end. Michigan State University (MSU) experts urge mushroom hunters to slice every mushroom lengthwise before cooking to verify your identification of it as a morel, and also to make sure there are no slugs or other invertebrates hidden inside the stem.

Information on morels, morel hunting and proper identification of morels and other edible mushrooms found in Michigan is available in two Extension bulletins: “May is Morel Month in Michigan” (E-2755) and “Don’t Pick Poison!” (E-2777). Contact your local county MSU Extension office or order online at

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