Michigan online map offers guide to finding morel mushrooms

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – If you’re looking for good places to find tasty morel mushrooms this spring, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering some hints.

The DNR has an online interactive map that shows where wildfires and prescribed burns took place in 2015. Each location on the map consists of at least 10 acres.

Resource protection manager Jim Fisher says morels often sprout where large fires happened the previous year, although there no guarantees.

The Mi-Morels map provides information on forest cover types, latitude and longitude coordinates and state-managed land boundaries.

The information is available for users to interact with and download through the DNR’s Open Data Portal.

However, be careful when picking up morel mushrooms, because they are some poisonous mushrooms that look like them.

False morels are mushrooms that look like morel mushrooms, but are not. Many of these have MMH, a chemical which causes vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes death.

According to mushroom-application.com, there are some ways to identify true morel mushrooms from the ones that can hurt you:

  • True morels have a very uniform cap, that don’t have any bulges or waves
  • The cap of a true morel is attached to stem, while a false morel hangs loosely from the stem.
  • A true morel will be hollow inside while a non-edible one will have either cotton-like fibers or chunks of tissue

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