The Morel of the Story

Here in Charlottesville, we’ve had a crazy month or so of snowstorms interchanged with sunny skies. While fungi will grow in the winter, the snow covering the ground makes it difficult to look for!

Nonetheless, I’m hoping our group will soon find fungi and lichen anywhere near as interesting as the kind in the Shenandoah National Park! Species there include shelf mushrooms


and morel mushrooms


which are edible! However, beware! Many mushroom species imitate morels, but the false ones are NOT edible!

Another edible is a very large fungus, the giant puffball!


Yep, not your typical mushroom!

As for lichen, those in Virginia include the rock tripe:


Lichen can be described as “crusty,” “shrubby,” or leaf-like, according to appearance, shape, and texture.

And for a bit of fungi trivia/myth: the field mushroom species has been said to only grow in areas often visited by stallions, ever since Roman times. This is the reason many believe the species is in decline in many of its frequent locations.

Works Cited

“Field mushroom (Agaricus campestris).” Field mushroom videos, photos and facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

“Mushrooms and Other Fungi.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 10 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

Post by Kelsey Veazey, Second-Year, Urban and Environmental Planning