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Landscape morel edible if properly cooked

Morchella importuna is probably the most common morel in lowlands west of the Cascade crest. It can be abundant in wood-chip mulch used in landscaping, usually the first year after a new layer of mulch has been applied.

Fruitings occur in late April to early June as spring temperatures rise. Many other species of morels occur east of the Cascades, where huge fruitings occur on year-old fire sites and in unburned Ponderosa pine forests. Morels are members of the phylum Ascomycota, and are distinguished from other members of the phylum by their spongelike cap and hollow cap and stem.

It’s a black morel, perhaps not quite as succulent as blond morels but still highly regarded as an excellent edible species. If you are interested in trying them, consult a guide for details on precise identification, and be sure to cook them thoroughly. There have been mild reactions to the toxins in uncooked or undercooked black morels.

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