Des Moines, Iowa – The warmer weather has people itching to get outside — especially those who like to hunt what some consider an Iowa delicacy. Iowa State University plant pathology professor, Mark Gleason, says morel mushrooms will start to pop out as the ground warms.
The warm weather is key along with some rain.
The temperatures so far this spring have fluctuated, but Gleason says once a warm day pops the mushrooms out, they are there until found or they dry up.
Leaves popping out of the ground are a key signal the morels are there for the picking. Gleason says many people look for dead elm trees as the prime growing spot, but that’s not the only place they flourish.
You might think asking veteran morel hunters for the best places to find them — but he says the people that are most successful don’t like to share their hot spots.
There are a lot of stories or tales about how to help the morels flourish. One is to use a mesh bag that allows the morel spores to drop out as you hike through the woods — providing seed for a new generation.
If you do decide to give mushroom hunting a try, Gleason says you have to remember they can easily blend into the surroundings.
Gleason says the morel season can vary across the state depending the weather conditions.