What could be one of the most successful seasons for finding fungi in forests could be coming to an end. Iowa State University mushroom expert Lois Tiffany says perfect weather conditions this spring sprung hundreds of the coveted morel mushrooms out into the open for Iowans. Good rain combined with temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s have help bring the morels out. Tiffany says the stem of the mushrooms are there in the ground year round, but it takes that right combination of water and sun for them to pop out. She says the spongy tan or grey morels are the most popular. She says relatively few people eat any wild mushroom other than the morel. Tiffany says the bountiful harvest will likely end this week — depending again on the weather. She says if the temperatures get up into the 80s the mushrooms don’t stay out. She says a four-week run is about normal for the season. Trees are the other main ingredient needed for good mushrooming. She says they grow in any wooded area, although they’re less likely to grow in the northwest part of the state. Don’t give up looking though, as Tiffany says they can be found all over Iowa. She says they did a 10-year morel survey a couple of years ago, and had samples sent in from almost every county in the state. Morel munchers like to sautee them in butter, or bread them and fry them.
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