Crossville & Tennessee Blogs


Dry land fish? Morel Mushrooms...

mushroomAwww those many damp spring mornings with my trusty stick. I would walk through the woods of my Grandfathers back yard pushing leaves and branches aside and search for the infamous Morel Mushroom AKA dry land fish! The flavor of these little gems when fryed in an iron skillet with a little salt and pepper still lingers on the memories of my taste buds.

Morel mushrooms are highly desired and highly unusual. 


The most common place to find morels is in the woods. Morels like to come up around dead and decaying trees such as the Elm. Morels can be found near living Ash, Poplar, Aspen and maples just to name a few of the main hosting trees. Morels will grow in heavy leaf cover, dried creek bottoms and heavy foliage. Try hunting near edges of river banks and mossy areas. Look for areas that have a rich black and sandy soil. Morels seem to prefer sandy soils. Morels hate clay. The are should be well drained and no standing water. Shady areas are ideal for late season hunting and more open areas in the early season.


  • When the may apples start to flatten out
  • When the redbuds are in bloom
  • When the tulip poplar leaves are the sizes of a silver dollar
  • When the flowering quince blooms
  • When the garlic mustard forms little broccoli-like heads prior to blooming.  (It is also very good to eat at this stage)
  • When the dogwoods bloom
  • When the showy orchid is in bloom, it is the peak of white or yellow morel season.
  • When you see squaw root, it is near the end of morel season
  • When the violets bloom
  • When the ash tree leaves begin to show green
  • morel Morels produce ascospores, which means the spores are enclosed within the tissue, and a force propels them out. The spores must therefore be near the surface, and a lot of surface area is needed. Ridges and pits increase the surface area creating a sponge-like appearance.Morels, however, are nothing like sponges. They are hollow, rubbery and brittle-much more brittle than other mushrooms. In fact, mushrooms usually have a tough skin over the surface and a fibrous stem. This prevents pieces of mushroom tissue from breaking off. By contrast, morels crumble easy and are often broken-an inadequacy stemming from recent evolution from a yeast.

    morel The cap of the morel has many inadequacies which other mushrooms overcame. A typical mushroom cap protects spores from being washed away by rain. The morel cap does not. The gills of mushrooms have aerodynamic properties for exploiting wind. Morels cannot use wind nearly as effectively.









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    I use to search for these tasty treats as well. Most will be surprised that you can find them along rail road tracks and even in your back yard.
    Posted by Glenn McDonald (F1RST REALTY COMPANY) about 8 years ago
    yum~I love portabella's. would love to try these:-)
    Posted by Traci Fant (First Realty Company) about 8 years ago
    i have been looking for these for over 20 yrs my dad use to take me looking for them all the time now he takes my kids some people say they want no part in eating a wild mushroom they say it will kill you lol but ive been eating them for 20 yrs now im still here
    Posted by stacey bice about 7 years ago
    Hey Stacey. These are not poisonous. I've been eating them for years too. Now is the time to find them.
    Posted by Christina Williams. REALTOR® TN property search & local insights (First Realty Company) about 7 years ago
    Me and my dad which is 75 yrs old went into the woods and found them this passed week end . We both enjoyed the hunt I would say it is alot like finding easter eggs they are very hard to find they blend so well with thier surrounding. Its the first time I have eatten them but I hope not my last they are delicous. I breaded them in a batter and fried them in hot oil until golden brown on both sides it doesn't take long .
    Posted by Brenda Conner almost 7 years ago
    Me and my family love to look for this type of mushroom.  It is a really fun hobby and they are delicious. I have 3 children ages  4, 8, and 12 and i can say they are pretty picky eaters but they love these.  We have only hunted for them twice this year but i fell that we came home with a pretty good find.  The first day we brought home 157 and then we went this evening and brought home 56.  These mushrooms are very popular around our neighborhood and there are lots on the hunt for them.
    Posted by Tracy almost 7 years ago
    I too enjoy hunting mushrooms, this is one of the easiest to identify, good post now I am hungry--Bart
    Posted by Bart Whitmore, Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams- Louisville) almost 7 years ago

     I thought this was an April Fools day trick, But I have asked a few ole timers and they

    began telling of their younger years hunting these delicate delights! You are never too old to

    learn about something great from Mother Nature. yum yum!  

    Posted by Kim about 6 years ago

    I grew up eating these.  My grandpa used to take me in the pine thicket and tell me to stomp and make them pop up.  They are the best fried in a combination of four and cornmill and then put between a biscut.  My husband grew up in Miami and he was amazed the first time we sat down to eat these.  I'm living in Memphis now.  Does anyone know if they grow in this area?  I would love to go find some.

    Posted by Kassi about 6 years ago


    Yes they do grow in your area, I have heard of some really good finds down that way. In fact the farther west you go the better you will find them. The morel is my favorite mushroom and I look forward to spring hunts every year. If anyone is close to knoxvile, oak ridge, oliver springs or the Morgan County area we are interested in forming a Morel festival and club and need interest in the idea. You can visit us online at and get in touch.

    Posted by Outdoorsman over 5 years ago