Sava: The picture was taken last Saturday at the OMS Kelley Point MycoBlitz.
It shows two similar-looking but distinct species,
cut vertically to expose the difference.
Question: What are the two species?
Mike P: (1) Morchella semilibera
(2) Verpa bohemica
To me, (1) always looks more like a Verpa than a true morel.
I am talking about field characteristics only.
Is it eaten locally? How's the taste?
Sava: Mike, this is correct.
To me, M. semilibera also looks more like a Verpa than a morel
and I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed it among the Verpas at the Mycoblitz.
It was Dick, I think, who pointed out what it was,
and Sallie who suggested to take this side-by-side picture.
By the way, the brand new name for our semilibera is Morchella populiphila.
As for its local gastronomical rating, perhaps Dick or Judy will know.
I've never found it myself.
Judy: Morchella populiphila isn't a great tasting mushroom.
I've found it both at Kelly Point and Sauvie Is.,
sometimes in modest numbers, enough to try.
Kind of bland and almost and acidic taste, closer to Verpa bohemica than Morchella.
Now I only collect it for photography or dried specimens.
Sava: De gustibus ... I eat Verpa bohemica and am not sure I can distinguish
its taste from the taste of morels. :)
There is a controversy about the edibility of Verpa bohemica,
so don't take this message as a suggestion to eat it.
It might contain small doses of Gyromitrin.
Read about the edibility of any mushroom before you make your decision to eat it.