Obviously, this is not a wildflower… but morels need to be included among my springtime posts because they are such a favorite. At our house, we wait for morel season with great anticipation!
Our most consistent observation has been that we find morels under dead or dying elm trees, and under tulip poplars, ash and sycamore along wet stream bottoms. That said, we’ve also found them growing in the grass along the edge of woods, along hiking paths, and even in our garden! They can surprise you!
Morels are delicious, and they are very easy to identify once you’ve learned how to spot them. The real trick is learning how to “see them” in the leaf litter on the forest floor because they totally blend in with their surroundings.
Locally, around Blacksburg, the first morels of the season are usually spotted in late March. April is a great month to look for morels, and you could even spot them in early May, depending on weather and elevation. If you find one, keep looking, because there are likely to be more!
There are four or five varieties of morels, all edible. Locals refer to them as blondes (or yellows), blacks, greys and half-frees.