Gyromitra esculenta, a false morel

  Pick this mushroom today, kick the bucket tomorrow...   

    You wouldn't know it by looking at its scientific name, but the false morel Gyromitra esculenta is toxic.  The word "esculenta" means edible.  It was named this because it is possible to eat this mushroom without getting poisoned; many people have done so and experienced no ill side effects.  However, many people experience mushroom poisoning, also called mycetismus, and die. 

The False MorelPhoto from   

     Another problem with the false morel is its similarity to the "true" morel, Morchella esculenta.  That is how it got its common name: "The False Morel."  The true morel is a delicacy and is hunted almost obsessively by mushroom lovers the world over.  Imagine hundreds, even thousands of people flocking to the woods (or maybe an old apple orchard)searching for this elusive mushroom.  If any of these people aren't educated about the false morel, they could end up eating them and possibly getting poisoned.  Don't be that guy!  Visit the true morel page to learn about the false morel's distant cousin.

    On this website, you will learn everything you never knew you wanted toFalse morels for sale with a sign saying don't touch know about the false morel including its habitat, what and how it eats, how it reproduces, its interactions with other organisms, adaptations it has, interesting facts, and, of course, how its toxin works.  

    My name is Willa Hammett-Hayes, and I attend the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.  My email is if you have any burning questions, but to find out more about me visit the contact me page.  This page was last edited on April 19th, 2013. 

                                                                        photo source:

    I definitely recommend checking out some of the other pages on  The multiple organisms project is a database of websites created by biology students here at UW-La Crosse.  Not only is there a wide variety of life represented, the websites are really cool! 

    To start your journey through the amazing world of Gyromitra esculenta, visit the classification page and find where this fungus fits into the great tree of life!   

            **Mushroom Riddle!**
Q: What kind of mushroom talks badly about other mushrooms behind their back?

A: Shiitake :)

Background picture on all pages courtesy of Owen Burnham.