Sunday, 18 September 2016

Black Morels

Australian Black Morel Morchella australiana 

This wet Spring has not only been good for flowers, but also for early fungi and yesterday I found a stand of these morels, a classic Spring mushroom. If I have identified these correctly, they are of a recently identified species and apparently an Australian endemic morel, probably the only one. However, I am not a mycology expert, for more information read this article which describes the naming of what looks like the species I found. The species was only named in 2010.

The distinctive black ridges on the caps above stipes that were turning brown

I did not pick any of these, although I know the taste value of morels, because it was a new species to me, and I always err on the side of caution when eating fungi. Now that I have looked them up, perhaps I should have. Although, as some were already turning past their best freshness, I think I'll just wait for next year's crop.

I like to eat wild mushrooms, and I like to photograph their colours and shapes too 

Black Morels are found in south-east Australia; Victoria, New South wales, and apparently the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Although I cannot find any records of the species in the ACT, which puts me in a dilemma. Is it a rare species which I should submit a record for, or do I follow the fungiphile code and keep the location of my find secret. No, I'm a scientist first, I'll do the right thing and submit the record. And for the record, the morels were growing in a scattered group over an area the size of a tennis court. The fruits were in clusters of twos and threes, and the habitat was Yellow Box - Red Gum Grassy Woodland, within several kilometres of the Canberra city centre. Because of their proximity to the city, I do wonder if they have are accidentally introduced specimens of the European Black Morel. Any comments welcome from anyone who knows more on these fungi.

Remember - never eat any fungus that you do not know to be absolutely safe to eat.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - nice find. I reckon you should have tried a couple though...