You’ll also find a few responses The Great Morel has received from other visitors regarding growing tips and cultivating them yourself. You can take what information you would like from this page and see what comes of it. The Great Morel makes no claims, so best of luck!
How do they grow?
It is a question that intrigues even the most weathered morel hunter. How many shoomers have made the statement or asked the question “wouldn’t it be great to have a camera on one?” and oh wouldn’t it be great! There are some who are blessed to have been able to watch the progress of the morel in its growth cycle and have been kind enough to share. If you have not yet visited the Growth Cycle page then you should. There are several studies showing the morel’s life on camera and some of the photos are very interesting.
We have all heard the theory that they just “pop” straight up, well let The Great Morel make one thing clear…rest assured this is far from the truth. By no means is The Great Morel going to get scientific on you here (why start now?), so if you want pure scientific data to this question then head over to the Info and Links page. What you are about to read below is pure shoom’n chatter, sprinkled with a few known facts, as well as self-proclaimed “shroom’n scientific data”.
It is believed and proven by most that the morel fungus will sprout (so-to-speak) as any other living organism and with the proper nurturing from Mother Nature, it will proceed in a progressive growth pattern. There are a few very good sites out there which break down this biological process in great depth, of which The Great Morel will refrain from doing. The Great Morel has never attempted a study of its own and therefore, it can only gather data from other sources – of which many can be found on the Info and Links page.
Many us have found them curled up as if they didn’t quite stand up nice and tall, or got hung up by a root while trying to stand erect. Why so? What actually happened in this morel’s short but wonderful life? In a way, maybe we don’t really want to know the answer to this question. Maybe knowing will erase some of the mystery that surrounds this spring pasttime. Just rest assured they don’t just POP!
If you have already visted the FAQ page then you may have seen The Great Morel’s personal “shroom’n scientific data”. Below are some comments from other great morel hunters who they themselves offer their perspective and observations.
- Tim from northwest Ohio sends this along:
“Hey, just found your page and wanted to let you know, I have been trying this for about ten years and yes it works to about a 90% succsess! When trying to see if a morel will continue to grow, there are a couple of factors that must be used in order for it to work. The color will indicate when the shroom is done growing. If it is still grey, it is NOT done. Once it is yellow, its done! Also, leaving a grey sit to see if it will grow, allows it to dry out. It MUST be covered as soon as you find it with at least 6 inches of leaves. This keeps the sun and wind from drying it out. It also keeps my brothers from finding them also! when the conditions are right, they WILL grow!
I have had some grow over night, and some take as long as THREE WEEKS! Most of the greys I find are about a 2 inch average in height. When allowed to grow, they usually achieve a height of 5 to 6 inches. I have seen them go through 3 growth periods and still be grey. As stated before, once yellow they are done.
Yes I do have pictures of this through the stages. As far as unfolding, once you find the shroom, it will keep the shape as seen the first time, only it will increase in height and diameter. One thing I have noticed though, if it dries (the weather) before the color changes, it probably won’t grow very much. I have not tried watering them through a dry spell, but intend to this year if it happens!the largest growth i have seen was one that i found that started out at one inch, grew to eight inches before the color change. Try covering them….IT WORKS!! PS. I am from northwest Ohio.”
- This also in from Joe in Kansas:
“I found a small yellow in my pasture put a quart jar over it kept water aroud the outside of the jar. It grew up in the jar we had to break the jar to get it out. Just thought this might be helpful. Thanks, Joe from Kansas”
Are there ways to grow or cultivate the morel myself?
This question is answered in the Frequently Asked Question page in more detail. As stated before, this is an often asked question and has rarely has anyone reported success and/or failures. The FAQ page has some reference links to sites offering morel growing kits and some very resourceful information on this process. The Great Morel rarely endorses products, however, new studies and testing have made advancement on self cultivating, and one of those groups is Edge&Osborn who have made huge strides in this area – you can check out their site here. The Great Morel encourages feedback from anyone who has had success or failures and will gladly post your story for others.
Growth Studies and Data Collection Information
The Great Morel’s Growth Cycle page has several very good studies of the life of the morel. Thanks to the contributions from fellow shroomers over the years, these studies are very enlightening and informative. So if you have not checked this page out it is worth the visit.
Related links and information:
- Growth Cycle
- False Morels
- Decaying Morel Images
- Preserving your Morels
- FAQ – Life Cycle
- The Life of The Great Morel
- Top of Page