Morchella conica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Ascomycetes
Order: Pezizales
Family: Morchellaceae
Rchb. (1834)
Type genus
Dill. ex Pers. (1794)

Costantinella (anamorph)

The Morchellaceae are a family of ascomycete fungi. According to a standard reference work, the family contains 49 species distributed among 4 genera.[1] 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.

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.[2]

General description

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.[3] The ascospores are ellipsoid, smooth, and usually hyaline.[4]


  1. ^ Kirk PM, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CABI. p. 439. ISBN 978-0-85199-826-8. 
  2. ^ 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.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Kimbrough JW. (1970). "Current trends in the classification of Discomycetes". Botanical Review 36 (2): 91–161. doi:10.1007/BF02858958. 

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