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Verpa conica (O. F. Müll. ) Sw.
Life   Fungi   Ascomycota   Morchellaceae   Verpa

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica

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Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 3
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 1
Verpa conica

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 1
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 1
Verpa conica

Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 1
Verpa conica
Verpa conica
© Copyright Malcolm Storey 2011-2118 · 1
Verpa conica

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California Fungi—Verpa conica Verpa conica
(Photo: © Fred Stevens)

Verpa conica (Müller) Swartz
Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens nya handlingar ser. 3 v. 3: 130. 1815.

Common Name: Thimble Fungus, Bell Morel

  • Pileus

    Cap 1.5-3.5 cm tall, 2-3.5 cm broad, conic, becoming obtuse-conic to bell-shaped in age, smooth to shallowly folded (but not wrinkled), attached only at the stipe apex; margin at first inrolled, irregular to wavy in outline, often slightly recurved in age; upper surface fertile, glabrous, dull brown when young, light-brown to ochraceous at maturity; lower surface sterile, pallid, matted tomentose to subpubescent; context thin, whitish, unchanging when cut or injured; odor not distinctive; taste mild.

  • Stipe

    Stipe 4-10 cm tall, 1-2.5 cm thick, fragile, round to somewhat flattened, occasionally folded or grooved at the base, equal to narrowed at the apex, often becoming curved in age; stuffed cottony when young, typically hollow at maturity; surface glabrous, developing buff-colored, appressed scales at maturity.

  • Spores

    Spores 25-33 x 15-19 µm, elliptical, smooth; asci 8-spored; spore deposit not seen.

  • Habitat

    Solitary or in small groups under hardwoods/conifers along stream banks; in the S.F. Bay Area occasionally in ice-plant ( Mesembryanthemum spp.); fruiting in the spring.

  • Edibility

    Edible Edible, of fair quality.

  • Comments

    Distinguishing features of this Ascomycete include a brown to ochraceous-brown conic cap, often with a wavy margin, a pileus attached only at the stipe apex, and a pallid stipe usually with appressed, pale ochraceous scales. Another species, Verpa bohemica has a distinctive wrinkled cap and is sometimes confused with distantly related morels ( Morchella spp.) which have pitted/ridged caps. Indeed, Verpa bohemica is sometimes sold in markets under the name "Spring Morel" or "Early Morel," though it lacks both the texture and flavor of true morels ( Morchella spp.). Morels, (except for Morchella semilibera ) can easily be told from Verpa bohemica by a cap margin that is fused (not free) to the stipe. The exception to the rule, Morchella semilibera , has a cap that is fused approximately halfway to the apex.

  • References

    Breitenbach, J. & Kränzlin, F. (1984). Fungi of Switzerland. Volume 1: Ascomycetes. Verlag Mykologia: Luzern, Switzerland. 310 p.
    Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
    Medardi, G. (2006). Ascomiceti d'Italia. Centro Studi Micologici: Trento. 454 p.
    Seaver, F.J. (1978). The North American Cup-Fungi (Operculates). Lubrecht & Cramer: Moncticello, N.Y. 377 p.
    Weber, N.S. (1988). A Morel Hunter's companion. Two Penninsula Press: Lansing, MI. 288 p.

  • Other Descriptions and Photos Main Photo
    • Wikipedia: Verpa conica (D & CP)
    • Northern Ireland Fungus Group: Verpa conica (CP)
    • Arora (1986): p. 794 (D), p. 795 (P)
    • Arora (1991): p. 239 (CP)
    • Jordan: p. 57 (D & CP)
    • Lincoff: p. 329 (D), plate 708 (CP)
    • Miller: sp. 389 (D & CP)
    • Orr & Orr: p. 35 (D)
    • Phillips: p. 303 (D & CP)
    • Smith & Weber: sp. 12 (D & CP)
    • Tylutki (1979): p. 42 (D & P)
    • Weber: p. 127 (D), plate 10 (CP)

    (D=Description; I=Illustration; P=Photo; CP=Color Photo)

The Fungi of California
Copyright © 1998-2019 Michael Wood & Fred Stevens
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Verpa conica
Verpa conica
Thimble Fungus
ID: 0072 3301 1149 0066 [detail]
Dr. Robert Thomas and Dorothy B. Orr
© 2001 California Academy of Sciences

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