Black Morel Mushrooms: A Gourmet Treat

Black morel mushrooms are among the choice, gourmet, and highly prized of all mushrooms.

We happened upon pounds of morel mushrooms in the Sierra’s while waiting for the snow to melt on Kaiser Pass. Click here to see hubby’s spectacular dish over the open fire.

Key features

  1. Black ribbed cap 3/4 to 1 5/8″wide, round to conical (cone-shaped) or like a Christmas tree honeycombed with pits and ridges
  2. Longitudinal and radial ridges (sometimes irregular)
  3. Pits fairly dark (olive-brown, dark grey, black or reddish brown at least when mature
  4. Ridges colored yellow-brown like the pits or darker (sometimes black).
  5. Cap completely intergrown with the stock (joined to it long its full length)
  6. Entire mushroom hollow
  7. Stalk without a sack or cup at base. 2-4″ thick, whitish, granular to mealy yellow.

Other features

Medium-sized to large stock white or tinged gray or, in one variety pinkish or reddish often with small warts odor not obnoxious.


On ground in many habitats, especially spruce, in sandy soil in mixed woods, but especially under Mountain conifers in recently logged or burned areas widespread and sometimes abundant especially in Spring (April-May).


Choice, gourmet, among the most highly prized of all mushrooms delicious fresh or dried should always be cooked.


Black morels blend so well with their surroundings that they are something you “stumble upon”. There is a great deal of variation in size shape pattern and color. Often the first true Mel variety to appear in the Spring.