Morel cap (Verpa bohemica)Systematics:
- Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
- Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
- Class: Pezizomycetes (Pecicomycetes)
- Subclass: Pezizomycetidae (Pecicomycetes)
- Order: Pezizales
- Family: Morchellaceae (Morels)
- Genus: Verpa (Verpa or Hat)
- Species: Verpa bohemica (Morel cap)
- Morel tender
- Czech Verpa
- Morchella bohemica
Morel cap ( lat.Verpa bohemica ) is a mushroom of the genus caps of the morel family. The mushroom got its name due to some similarity with real morels and freely (like a hat) a hat sitting on a leg.
Hat: small in the shape of a cap. The vertically folded, wrinkled cap is practically loosely worn on the leg. The height of the cap is 2-5 cm, the thickness of -2-4 cm. The color of the cap changes as the mushroom matures: from brownish chocolate in youth to buffy yellowish in adulthood.
Leg: smooth, usually curved leg 6-10 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm thick. The leg is very often flattened at the sides. In youth, the leg is solid, but an expanding cavity is formed very soon. The cap is connected to the leg only at the very base, the contact is very weak. The color of the leg is white or cream. The surface is covered with small grains or scales.
Pulp: light, thin, very brittle, has a pleasant smell, but with a weak taste. Spore powder: yellowish.
Spores: smooth, elongated, elliptical.
Distribution: Considered the narrowest species of morel mushrooms. Fruiting from early to mid-May in a clearly directed layer. Most often found among young limes and aspens, prefers flooded poor soils. If the growing conditions are favorable, then the mushroom very often bears fruit in large enough groups.
Similarity: The morel cap mushroom is quite unique, it is difficult to confuse it due to its almost loose cap and unsteady stem. It has no resemblance to inedible and poisonous mushrooms, but sometimes it is still confused with lines.
Edible: Verpa bohemica is classified as conditionally edible mushroom. You can eat a morel cap only after preliminary boiling for ten minutes. This is necessary because inexperienced mushroom pickers quite often confuse morels with lines, so it is better to be on the safe side. Further, mushrooms can be cooked in any way: fry, boil, and so on. You can dry the morel cap, but in this case it should dry for at least one month.
Video about a mushroom Morel cap:
Photo: Andrey, Sergey.