Strain: Morchella semilibera AM-G215
=Mitrophora semilibera (DC.) LÚv.
Common Names: Half-Free Morel, Morille à Moitié-libre, Käppchen
Commonly referred to as half-free morels, Morchella semilibera has a cap that is attached about half way around a hollow stipe. It is often confused with the Verpa bohemica, which grows on the west coast of North America, and has a cap attached only at the apex, and a pithy stem. According to DNA analysis, it has shown that the half-free morels, which appear nearly identical on a macroscopic scale, are a cryptic species complex, consisting of at least three geographically isolated species from Europe, Asia, and North America. It is most likely a saprophyte as well as a mycorrihizal associate of many tree species. It has been found growing in forested habitats under deciduous trees.
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. There needs to be a nutrient free layer in the jar for sclerotia to form. 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. 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.
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 minimum 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 the Netherlands; T. C. van der Ende; rec. 2011 in tube.
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