More more Morels! – A Grey Morel…

Well, this UK drought we’re having this April has got to be the wettest on record! But the morels are enjoying it and they’re still out there.

The pictures of the following were kindly submitted by Thalia Kenton when she was asking about them earlier this April – thanks again for the pics Thalia.

As you know, what we have here is a Morel (Morille) (Morchella esculenta) but it’s looking a little off colour than it normally would! Strange stuff indeed.

What we have to understand is that there are many variants of the delightful Morel out there to be discovered. Size, shape and colour can vary so much from Morel to Morel, but are typically light brown/ochre in colour. Caps can be round, oval or conical-like (but not so much as the Black Morel).

I might go as far as to say this could possibly be the recognised variant Morchella vulgaris because of the grey colours in the cap – but the shape is described as being more ovoid in shape. Hmm! tricky. Another contender could be Morchella esculenta var. umbrina, a smallish Morel with grey/dark colours. Again I can’t be certain exactly…

One thing is for sure though is that this is a Morel and not the poisonous False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta) which is darker red/brown with twisted lobes in an irregular ‘brain-like’ shape. It is found mainly with conifers at the same time of year, particularly favouring sandy soil.

I’ve had so many pictures lately from several website visitors and I’ve had at least 3 people finding similar looking Morels. It’s all good stuff. And they’re exceptionally make for good eating. Just cross-check you’ve find the right thing first before cooking.


Grey Morel

Morchella esculenta variant – Pictures courtesy of Thalia Kenton

8 replies
  1. petemcaleer
    petemcaleer says:

    I have been on the lookout for a couple of years …but without any Morel victories! I wonder how important the sandy soil factor is…might be worth looking near the sea-side golf linx?
    Did find 2 sites of St Georges, perfect saintly timing on the 23rd April.
    Happy hunting

  2. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    Yes, chalky and sandy soil seem the best places. Good luck in finding some soon. And I have never found St.Georges mushrooms on St.Georges Day! Well done there chap…

  3. john
    john says:

    I haven’t seen any morels this year yet but the St George’s mushrooms have appeared. I saw my first this year on 22nd April in parkland near Croydon and since then I have seen more in several different sites in the Croydon area

  4. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    You’re having the opposite luck of me at the moment John! I can’t find any St.Georges mushrooms at the moment – bad timing mixed with the wrong place. But the Morels seem to be on my side at the moment. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I need some good St.Georges mushroom pictures for my next (and hopefully not too far away) blog post. As far as finding either of these lovely April/Spring mushrooms I hope you find lots more.

    Happy mushroom hunting…

  5. Dunc
    Dunc says:

    Im particularly interested in the location of this mysterious grey Morel – just a rough description of the area, and general location (dont worry, im not after the exact location :)). I have a mushroom farm and hope to be able to collect its genetics, hopefully culminating in a strain suitable for inoculation etc. On the subject of Morels in general, i have had success over the years in Sussex, although not with the Black Morel – Common and Semi-free have been abundant at this time for several years but this year seems to be very…sparse. I have seen a few Blewets and St Georges, but sadly the majority of the latter have been plentifully (not to mention with a somewhat menacing allure) been at the side of some very busy roads – i tend to avoid them due to the heavy metal content…

  6. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    Hi Dunc – Sorry for the delayed feedback. It’s been bonkers busy! The grey Morels in question were unfortunately not my find but from a visitor to the Mushroom Diary website. Thalia Kenton was kind enough to offer up the pictures to feature. So I’m sorry to say I can’t help with a rough location as she never mentioned where she was from. We’ll just have to find them the old fashioned way!!! Doh…

  7. Thalia Kenton
    Thalia Kenton says:

    Dunc – it was in my garden in Buckinghamshire, though I suspect the spores may have come in on some bark chips as that is where I found it! Thalia


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