Focus on Fungi – Ohio Mushrooms & the Morel
Ohio is home to more than 2,000 types of wild mushrooms, some of which are poisonous and some of which are edible.
Wild mushrooms typically grow under the cover of leaves, dead wood and other forest debris, quickly emerging after a moderate or heavy rain. Abandoned orchards and areas with Ash or Elm trees are often the most productive areas for mushroom seekers.
Did you know that mushroom hunting is permitted at all state forests in Ohio? This covers over 200,000 acres! Many state parks also allow mushroom hunting.
The most common edible mushroom in Ohio is the morel or sponge mushroom. The true morel is easily recognized but be careful! There are some false morels that are poisonous and can easily be confused with the true morels. True morels have caps with definite pits and ridges, like a honeycomb. False morels may have folds, flaps or wrinkles. The true morel is built like a light bulb and the stem is hollow when viewed in a cross section.