Morel Mushrooms (Morchella esculenta)
Range: Found across much of the U.S., especially under hardwood trees in orchards, burn areas, and disturbed grounds.
Harvest Season: A short time in springtime – exact window varies based on location.
Identifying Characteristics: Distinctive “honeycombed” cap, deeply wrinkled and yellow-grey. Hollow through the center. 2 to 9 centimeters tall by 2 to 5 centimeters thick.
Dangerous Lookalikes: Few mushrooms share the same honeycombed top. When in doubt, throw ’em out.
Preparation: Strong taste, best cooked in butter and often paired with leeks.