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Morchella esculenta 270408.jpg
Morchella esculenta
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Pezizomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Morchellaceae
Rchb. (1834)
Type genus
Dill. ex Pers. (1794)

see text

The Morchellaceae are a family of ascomycete fungi in the order Pezizales. According to a standard reference work, the family has contained at least 49 species distributed among four genera. [1] However, in 2012, five genera that produce ascoma that are sequestrate and hypogeous were added. [2] The best-known members are the highly regarded and commercially picked true morels of the genus Morchella, the thimble morels of the genus Verpa, and a genus of cup-shaped fungi Disciotis. The remaining four genera produce the sequestrate fruit bodies.

Analysis of the ribosomal DNA of many of the Pezizales showed the three genera Verpa, Morchella, and Disciotis to be closely related. Thus they are now included in the family Morchellaceae. [3]


Costantinella (anamorph)
Disciotis (terrestrial)
Morchella (terrestrial)
Verpa (terrestrial)
Kalapuya (hypogeous)
Imaia (hypogeous)
Leucangium (hypogeous)
Fischerula (hypogeous)


Other than the anamorph genus Costantinella, the three remaining genera of Morchellaceae are distinguished by ascocarp morphology. Morchella species have an ascocarp with a sponge-like pileus, with a hollow stipe and pileus. Verpa species have a cup-like or thimble-shaped, smooth or wrinkled pileus above a hollow stipe. Disciotis has a cup-like pileus with vein-like hymenial folds and a small or nonexistent stipe. [4] The ascospores are ellipsoid, smooth, and usually hyaline. [5]


  1. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CAB International. p. 439. ISBN  978-0-85199-826-8.
  2. ^ Trappe MJ, Trappe JM, Bonito GM (2010). "Kalapuya brunnea gen. & sp. nov. and its relationship to the other squestrate genera in Morchellaceae". Mycologia. 102 (5): 1058–1065. doi: 10.3852/09-232. PMID  20943505.
  3. ^ O'Donnell K, Cigelnik E, Weber NS, Trappe JM (1997). "Phylogenetic relationships among ascomycetous truffles and the true and false morels inferred from 18S and 28S ribosomal DNA sequence analysis". Mycologia. 89 (1): 48–65. doi: 10.2307/3761172. JSTOR  3761172. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Bunyard BA, Nicholson MS, Royse DJ (1995). "Phylogenetic resolution of Morchella, Verpa, and Disciotis (Pezizales: Morchellaceae) based on restriction enzyme analysis of the 28S ribosomal RNA gene". Experimental Mycology. 19 (3): 223–33. doi: 10.1006/emyc.1995.1027. PMID  7553270.
  5. ^ Kimbrough JW. (1970). "Current trends in the classification of Discomycetes". Botanical Review. 36 (2): 91–161. doi: 10.1007/BF02858958.

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