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Ascomycetes. Both come out about same time in spring and often appear in same area. Several species of morels still to be sorted out: M. elata (European) (5 spp) & first to appear), M. semilibera, M. esculenta Morels are pitted and have hollow stipes. The cap is fused to the stipe. Gyromitra esculenta (Eur.), gigas (Eur.) or brunnea. Unlike morels, they are not completely hollow. They may exhibit a cotton mycelium and more stipe material. They have reddish brown, yellow, brown or brown lobed caps. Morels are found in apple orchards, and under ash and tulip poplar trees. Both morels and gyromitras may be both saprobic and mycorrhizal at various times in their life cycle. Cooking tip: Dry morels for future use. Rehydrate and cook them in cream. In Europe G. esculenta is considered edible. Yet 2 to 4% of fatalities are associated with eating them. They contain gyromitrin, which metabolizes to rocket fuel in the body. (Monomethylhydrazine) that destroys red blood cells. Period between ingestion and symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and headache is between 6-12 hours. Treatment is with Vit. B6. In the worst cases, patients become jaundiced, suffer convulsions, coma and death. Poisonous raw. Parboiling (2x) evaporates the active ingredient. But inhalation of fumes can be lethal. In the U.S. gyromitras may have variable amounts of gyromitrin. In the east seem to have more gyromitrin than those in the west, where they are eaten by some. It is recommended that we not eat them as in any case they are carcinogenic to at least mice. Morels and lead/arsenic poisoning from morels collected at apple orchards .013-001