The name false morel is given to several species of mushroom 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, most often Gyromitra. Verpa species by contrast are in the Morchellaceae and are true morels.
The edibility of Gyromitra esculenta 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. These risks are only associated with the species Gyromitra esculenta and Gyromitra ambigua. All other “false morel” species are edible once cooked so proper identification is key.[clarification needed]
- Christer Andersson: Stenmurklan – olämplig att äta. Toxikologiska enheten, Livsmedelsverket.
- Evira: Gyrotoxin i stenmurklor Archived 2011-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
- 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 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-04-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- 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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