Morel Hunting Season on the Horizon

Mar 23, 2018

In just a few weeks, it'll be time to search for the elusive and delectable morel mushroom. Aspiring morel hunters and experienced foragers alike can look to the forests for this fungal delicacy. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Mark Vitosh, Forester for the Department of Natural Resources, about where, when, and how to scout for the hard-to-find morels.

"For the starting mushroom hunter, a great focus would be the elms," Vitosh says. "The best time to start scouting is the year before. This coming summer, in July and August, look for elms that are dying of Dutch elm disease."

For those hoping to sell the fruits of their foraging, Iowa State University offers a morel certification workshop in April. Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, ISU extension Plant Pathologist and Diagnostician with the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, teaches participants how to distinguish true morels from false morels and offers tips this hour. 

Vitosh and Rodriguez-Salamanca are joined by Leonor Leandro, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, and Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist, as they answer listener questions.