The name false morel is given to a number of Ascomycete fungi of the genera Gyromitra, Helvella, and Verpa which bear a resemblance to the highly regarded true morels of the genus Morchella. Like Morchella, false morels are members of the Pezizales, but within that group represent several unrelated taxa scattered through the families Morchellaceae, Discinaceae, and Helvellaceae.
The edibility of "false morels" has been recently brought into question. Gyromitra esculenta – regarded as delicious – is known to be potentially deadly when eaten fresh, but research in the 1990s show that toxins remain even after proper treatment.
While many people eat false morels without apparent harm, some people have developed acute toxicity and recent evidence suggests that there may be long-term health risks as well.[clarification needed]
- Christer Andersson: Stenmurklan – olämplig att äta. Toxikologiska enheten, Livsmedelsverket.
- Evira: Gyrotoxin i stenmurklor
- Michael W. Beug, Marilyn Shaw, and Kenneth W. Cochran. Thirty plus Years of Mushroom Poisoning: Summary of the Approximately 2,000 Reports in the NAMA Case Registry. From summary at http://www.namyco.org/toxicology/tox_report_30year.html
- Benjamin, Denis R. (1995). Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas — a handbook for naturalists, mycologists and physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-2600-9.
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