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Blushing morel


Morchella rufobrunnea, the blushing morel, is a sac fungus in the family Morchellaceae. A prized edible species, the fungus was first described in 1998 by mycologists Gastón Guzmán and Fidel Tapia from collections made in Veracruz, Mexico. Several DNA studies have suggested that it is common in the West Coast of the United StatesIsraelAustralia, and Cyprus. It grows in disturbed soil or in woodchipsused in landscaping, and occasionally under olive trees (Olea europaea) in the Mediterranean Basin. Young fruit bodieshave conical, grayish caps covered with pale ridges and dark pits; mature specimens are yellowish to ochraceous-buff, and grow to a height of 9.0–15.5 cm (3.5–6.1 in). M. rufobrunnea differs from other Morchella species in its urban or suburban habitat preferences, the color and form of the fruit body, the lack of a sinus at the attachment of the cap with the stalk, the length of the pits on the surface, and a brownish-orange or pinkish bruising reaction. A process to cultivate morels now known to be M. rufobrunnea was described and patented in the 1980s.