More Morels! The Semifree Morel

As you may know or not I recently got lucky finding some Black Morels this April 2012, and as luck would have it I actually stumbled across another species of Morel a couple of days afterwards! Marvellous…

Semifree Morel Picture

I had a foray at Cloud wood (NW Leicestershire. Note: Cloud Wood is access by permit only and no digging up or removal of fungi is allowed) in which I found a reasonably good bunch of wild fungi, some even first timers for me. The most distinctive discovery though was the Semifree Morel (Morchella semilibera / Mitrophora semilibera). You can read more of my lucky find of the tasty Black Morel here featuring useful information very similar to this Semifree species…

The distinctive vertical ridges and pits on the cap are almost the same as our lovely Black Morel, but when compared, the main difference is the smaller pointy cap and longer stem. The bottom part of the cap is free from the stem and attaches higher up, hence the English name ‘Semifree’.

Although it’s a great looking species of Morel, found in it’s native habitat in damp woodland (luckily there was rain a day or so before), it is unfortunately not as worthy as it’s tastier cousins. It is said to be edible (after cooking) but apparently not worth the effort. It has been known to cause stomach upset in some people. Well, you can’t win ’em all!

Hope you all get some luck finding some of the tastier Morels out there real soon…

Morchella semilibera

The Semifree Morel with it’s smaller pointy cap. The lower part of the cap is free from the stem, hence the English name. Not worth cooking though!

And to finish:

The first morel the shepherds did see
In the springtime beneath a dying elm tree:
Morel, morel,
Morel, morel!
Where we find them we never will tell,

All together now…

10 replies
  1. Varsha
    Varsha says:

    I’m going to have to take a trip down your neck of the woods (literally) because I’m having no luck in mine!

  2. Tonic
    Tonic says:

    I have just found the first of the morels! Black morels! I have found them before, 3 years ago, in vast quantity, in a newly laid wood chip flower bed of a local park. Every year I went back but they never returned! However when the place I work at spent some money laying wood chip flower beds this January, I got very excited and have checked every day for the last month. Well today I got lucky! I have just picked and eaten 5 beautiful morels fried in cream and white wine sauce.

    They were very hard to see as they are the same colour as the wood chip which is why I think most field guides mark them as ‘uncommon’. However, well worth the effort of checking wood chip beds carefully, especially newly laid ones, and after a bought of rain.

    Happy Morchella-ing!

  3. J C Harris
    J C Harris says:

    yeah, it’s a good tip. Just keep hunting those Morels in the Woodchip. We’re having a great UK season for Morel mushrooms this year. Good luck in finding much more…


  4. Gemma
    Gemma says:

    I believe I have these morels growing in my front garden but I’m not sure, they definitely look like these though, if I could email you a picture could you identify them? Thanks

  5. Tina
    Tina says:

    Hi. Just wondering if you have looked around the woods by grace dieu? I go there a lot this time of year to collect wild garlic.

    • J C Harris
      J C Harris says:

      Hi Tina. Yes, I’ve been around the woods in Grace Dieu (The National Forest – For those who want to know). I find quite a few Morels there and many other species. A great place to go. I know the area you refer to for the wild garlic. Its a bountiful spot near the brook. Great stuff.


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