Landscape Black Morel (Morchella importuna) mushroom “block” is composed of a bottom nutrient layer of rye seed (1 lb) and a top layer of sawdust (2.5 lb). The rye seed and sawdust are bound together with mushroom tissue or “mycelium.” Mycelium is the sometimes beige, brown or white fluffy material covering the outside of the block.
Also visible are the small orange sclerotia. A morel sclerotium is a hard mass of compressed mycelium that normally forms underground during the late spring and summer. It is thought to be a dormant structure in the morel lifecycle that allows it to over-winter. It is also theorized that the sclerotia is a preliminary stage to mushroom formation. Allowing morels to pop out of the ground as soon as conditions are favorable.
The rye seed provides the energy to grow sclerotia in the nutrient poor sawdust. Once the sclerotia is formed, the rye is no longer needed. The wood/mycelium is what you will plant in the ground.
This strain has been successfully fruited in a disturbed garden habitat. However, even with the formation of mycelium and sclerotium there are many factors that will influence the formation of morel fruits. For that reason we make no guarantees beyond the viability of the block. For best results plant the block as described in the directions included with spawn in late fall early winter. Areas where morel mushrooms are found locally are more likely to have success growing black morels outdoors from spawn. Even in good conditions morel spawn might not fruit for years after planting.
This strain was isolated from what was thought to be a “Morchella elata group” found in Oregon. Recently it was confirmed to be Morchella importuna.
We have yet to develop a reliable method for fruiting the block indoors. Stay tuned!
For additional information on growing morels please check out "Mycelium Running : How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by Paul Stamets.
**Successful morel cultivation depends on a narrow range environmental conditions for growth, for this reason we cannot guarantee fruit body development from the black morel spawn block.**