I found them growing in my backyard in Goleta in one clump. I didn’t see more than this. Friends think they are morels which are yummy and expensive but before I trade them for toilet paper (kidding) I wanted to verify if they were real and not a poisonous twin.
|Question Date: 2020-03-24|
Mushrooms are notoriously difficult to identify. It takes considerable expertise to distinguish edible ones, from those that are not. Poisonous and edible forms often look nearly identical to the untrained eye.
I'd strongly advise against taking unnecessary risks, especially during this difficult time when hospital resources are stretched thin. Appreciate exotic fungi for their lovely appearance, not their taste (unless you've purchased them in a store).
Those do look like morels; however, there are other, related, mushrooms called false morels that do look similar. Not being an expert in mushrooms, and knowing how poisonous some mushrooms can be, I personally wouldn't risk it, even if I do think that it is 90% likely that these are indeed the nonpoisonous kind.
Cool! I was excited to find some funny fungi like that in a woods near me, but they might have had some red on them.
I'm not going to tell you if they're safe to eat or not - what if I gave you the wrong answer, and you got poisoned?
You can also look at images in a google search and decide if you want to eat them, but I do not recommend you to do it.
Foraging for edible mushrooms is a risky endeavor, but if you are interested in mushroom identification, I've found a couple online resources (I'm still not sure I'd be confident enough to eat them, however!) mushroom observer has a lot of examples of photos of known mushrooms as well as a section to ask for help in identifying unknown mushrooms. There is also a facebook group "The Mushroom Identification Forum" ( Mushroom Identification Forum ) where people post photos of mushrooms, and the large community of mushroom enthusiasts helps identify them. Good luck!
Many mushrooms are toxic to some extent, so don't eat any without a definitive identification. Although not an expert, I don't think these two pictures provide enough data to determine whether the mushrooms are morels or not. A true morel will have a relatively uniformly-shaped cap covered with pits, the bottom of the cap will be attached to the stem*, and the stem will be completely hollow.
In these images, the bottom of the cap appears attached to the stem, and the cap could be pitted. However, the caps could also be "folded" or bulging outward rather than pitted inward, which would indicate a look-alike. My recommendation would be to slice one in half from top to base. If the stem is hollow, then they likely are morels. If filled with either wispy fibers or solid chunks of material, then they are definitely not morels and should not be consumed. Even if the stem is hollow, I recommend having an expert look at them before eating these.
*Some morels are known as "half-free", in which case the bottom half of the cap hangs away from the stem.
Refs. Site 1 and site 2.
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