Strain: Morchella angusticeps AM-G200
Common Names: Black Morel
The classic widespread black morel (Morchella angusticeps) is common east of the Rocky Mountains and is one of the true black morels, which according to some taxonomists are part of a complex including M. elata, M. conica, and M. angusticeps. Like all morels, this species is still being studied, and is quite mysterious by nature. It most likely fulfills multiple ecological niches and could be termed a facultative mycorrhizal associate sometimes living saprophytically under various hardwoods, particularly in the genus Fraxinus spp.. They have also been found in disturbed sandy soil with brambles and white pine (Pinus strobus) in northern New York. The cap is 3-8cm tall and 2-5cm wide, usually conical or bluntly conical, with a rounded apex. It’s pitted and ridged with pits arranged vertically. The pits are a light brown or tan-yellowish when young, becoming a darker brown with age. The ridges are consistently a darker shade of brown than the pits. The stem is 3-8cm tall and 1-3cm wide, equally shaped with a sometimes swollen base. It’s a white to cream color and can be a smooth to finely granule texture, sometimes with folds forming near the base.
In the spring and fall, outdoor beds have been established for morels. This species does form sclerotia, which are widely considered the preliminary step for the cultivation of morels. Sclerotia can be obtained by growing spawn on rye for an extended period up to28 days. After the formation of sclerotia, spawn can be used to inoculate a 50:50 hardwood sawdust and woodchip mixture outdoors and covered with a small amount of sand mixed with a few handfuls of gypsum (calcium sulfate). Mushrooms should form the following spring. Several techniques have been developed recently for the cultivation of this species, however success has been limited, and successful cultivation of this species is in its infancy. Good Luck!
Application: choice edible.
Characteristics: Possibly saprobic and mycorrhizal. This mushroom type is cultivated by some growers with success.
Temperature Range: Low: 40-60 °F (4.4-16 °C) fruiting temperature; 60-70 °F (16-21 °C) sclerotia formation.
Recommended Substrate: case with peat moss or hardwood sawdust supplemented with calcium sulfate for outdoor cultivation.
Cellulose Decomposers: Hardwood Sawdust
Most popular species under cultivation are naturally wood inhabiting fungi. So, growing on sawdust is a logical choice. Sawdust is mixed with wheat bran (or another nitrogen source) at 5-15% and Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) (a buffering agent) at 2-3%, and filled into autoclavable bags. The bags are sterilized for a miniAM-G200 of 1 hour at 121°C (15 psi when at sea level). Note sterilization exposure times vary depending on pressure and elevation. Finally, the substrate is cooled to at least 25°C (approx. 80°F) then, inoculated with grain or liquid spawn and incubated at appropriate temp for the species until colonization is complete.
Recommended species on hardwood sawdust:
Agrocybe aergerita, Antrodia camphorata, Armillaria mellea, Auricularia auricular-judae, Fistulina hepatica, Flammulina velutipes, Fomes fomentarius, Ganoderma applanatum, G. australe, G. lucidum, G. curtisii, Grifola frondosa, Hericium americanum, H. clathroides, H. coralloides, H. erinaceus, Hypholoma capnoides, H. sublateritium, Hypsizygous marmoreus, H. tessulatus, H. ulmarius, Inonotus obliquus, Laetiporus sulphureus, Lentinula edodes, Macrolepiota procera, Omphalotus sp., Panellus stipticus, Phellinus linteus, Pholiota nameko, Piptoporus betulinus, Pleurotus sp., Polyporus squamosus, Polyporus umbellatus, Schizophylum commune, Sparassis crispa, Stropharia rugoso-annulata, Trametes sp., Tremella mesenterica, and Xylaria hypoxylon.
History: from India, AM-G200bai, National Park, 5.2002; S.P. Wasser, rec. 2012 on plate.
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