Morels growing in my backyard

Edward Gosfield gosfield at
Sun Mar 17 17:06:07 EST 1996

Robert Mulroy (rmulroy at wrote:
: wrsandrs at wrote:
: : Hello all,

: : Are there toxic species which could be mistaken for morels?  I am

: : Any advice would be very much appreciated.

: : cheers,
: : Bill Sanders
: : wrsandrs at 

: 	You'd better send them to me for analysis.  

: Bob

some people think Verpa species look like morels.  I don't think so, 
but they probably wouldn't kill you. I have eaten V. bohemica, and like it.  

Some people think Helvella species look like Morels.  I have eaten H. 
lacunosa, and it was bland.

Some people think Gyromitra species look like morels, but G. esculenta
contain monomethylhydrazine, which is bad for your liver and can kill
you(Group V toxins--see Lincoff, or comparable).  There is some argument
about whether the toxic effects are cumulative, or immediate.  It may
depend on the manner of cooking, but why take a chance.  Gyromitra gigas
is "choice" (Miller.) Send 'em all to Bob. 

If you don't know the answer to your question, you shouldn't be eating 
wild mushrooms.  No insult intended.  No mushroom is 'to die for'.  Call 
your local Natural History Museum and ask them when the local mushroom 
club meets. And you can dry all the mushrooms that grow in your yard, for 
when you know enough to ID and eat them safely yourself.  Take some 
photos while they are fresh.

BEING.  Worth shouting about.  Ask A.K. Smith (famous field guide author 
and mycologist, who never met a mushroom he could digest)

bon appetit

ted gosfield

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