Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The morel, Morchella, of which there are several species, abounds throughout the United States. Several common names have been applied to this organism depending upon the area. Names include sponge, sponge on a stalk, honeycomb (because of its appearance), common more, delicious morel, hickory chicken (it is found among hickory leaves), and mushroom (the most common name in South Dakota). Although this organism ranks near the top of any fungus collector's list as a food, little is actually known or at least recorded of the environment associated with its appearance. The purpose of this study was to gather as much knowledge of any factor or combination of factors which may be instrumental to fruiting in Morchella. The study was divided into two broad areas, field observations and laboratory study. The field study had two purposes: to obtain a more complete understanding of the morphology, ecology and habit of the organism and to apply field findings to the laboratory study should they seem relevant to fruiting. The ultimate goals of the laboratory study were to procure a sporocarp under known conditions and to develop a method for commercial production. Although sporocarp formation was unsuccessful in this study, many characters and reactions of Morchella were noted which may prove valuable in the study of fruiting.

Library of Congress Subject Headings




Number of Pages



South Dakota State University