Short title: Morchella in Europe and North America
True morels (Morchella, Pezizales) of Europe and North America: Evolutionary relationships
inferred from multilocus data and a unified taxonomy
UMR 5175 CEFE, Université de Montpellier, Campus CNRS, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293
UMR 5175 CEFE, INSERM , Campus CNRS, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier,
56 place des Tilleuls, F-60400 Pont-l'Evêque, France
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany, P.O. Box 50007, SE-104 05
Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research Unit, National Center for
Agricultural Utilization Research, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research
Service, 1815 North University Street, Peoria, Illinois 61604
University of Vienna, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Botany and Biodiversity
Research, Division of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Wien,
In Press at Mycologia, preliminary version published on December 30, 2014 as doi:10.3852/14-166
Copyright 2014 by The Mycological Society of America.
Département des Sciences végétales et fongiques, faculté des sciences pharmaceutiques et
biologiques, Univ Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France, and EA 4483, UFR
Pharmacie, F-59000 Lille, France
Abstract: Applying early names, with or without original material, to genealogical species is
challenging. For morels this task is especially difficult because of high morphological stasis
and high plasticity of apothecium color and shape. Here we propose a nomenclatural revision
of true morels (Morchella, Pezizales) from Europe and North America, based on molecular
phylogenetic analyses of portions of the genes for RNA polymerase II largest subunit (RPB1)
and second largest subunit (RPB2), translation elongation factor-1α (TEF1), the nuc rDNA
region encompassing the internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2, along with the 5.8S rDNA
(ITS), and partial nuc 28S rDNA D1-D2 domains (28S). The 107 newly sequenced collections
were from both continents, including 48 types, together with previously published sequences.
Names are applied to 30 of the 65 currently recognized genealogical species. Results of the
present study revealed that the number of Morchella species in Europe (n = 21) is nearly
identical to that in North America (n = 22). Only seven species were found on both continents,
consistent with previous reports of high continental endemism within the genus. Presently it is
not possible to tell whether the transoceanic disjunctions were due to human activities,
migration across a Bering land bridge or long-distance dispersal. In an effort to stabilize the
taxonomy, due in part to the recent publication of synonyms for 11 of the species, accepted
names are presented together with their corresponding later synonyms. A new subclade that
includes holotypes of M. castanea and M. brunneorosea is identified in sect. Morchella
(Esculenta Clade). Lectotypes for Morchella deliciosa, M. eximia and M. tridentina are
designated here, as well as epitypes for M. dunalii, M. eximia, M. purpurascens and M.
vulgaris. Morchella conica was determined to be illegitimate, and further research is required
to determine the identity of M. elata and M. inamoena.
Key words: Ascomycota, Morchellaceae, nomenclature, Pezizomycetes, taxonomy
True morels (Morchella) comprise one of the most intensively collected groups of macrofungi
worldwide, but their systematics remains in flux. A series of recent multilocus molecular
phylogenetic analyses (Taşkın et al. 2010, 2012; O'Donnell et al. 2011; Du et al. 2012a,b)
employing genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition (GCPSR, Taylor et al.
2000), showed that morphological species recognition (MSR) within this iconic genus
frequently fails to delimit species, due to widespread cryptic speciation. The dearth of
phenotypically informative macro- and micromorphological characters within this genus
greatly reduces the utility of MSR in the absence of critical molecular phylogenetic data. As a
result, MSR-based taxonomic treatments have produced conflicting estimates of species
diversity. Some taxonomic treatments have recognized a few, highly variable taxa (e.g.
Dennis 1978: three species in Britain; Weber 1995: three species in North America; Dissing
2000: eight species in the Nordic countries), while others accepted many species, varieties
and forms (Krombholz 1834: 11 species; Boudier 1897: 20 species; Jacquetant 1984: 30
species; Clowez 2012: 52 species). The aforementioned GCPSR studies laid the foundation
for a taxonomic revision of Morchella in North America (Kuo et al. 2012).
The molecular phylogenetic studies revealed that Morchella comprises three clades
(O'Donnell et al. 2011), including an early diverging basal lineage (section Rufobrunnea sensu
Clowez 2012) estimated to have evolved in the late Jurassic. This clade is represented by two
extant species, M. rufobrunnea, which has been grown commercially (Ower et al. 1986), and
M. anatolica (Işiloğlu et al. 2010, Taşkın et al. 2012). The origin of the later-diverging sister
clades, Elata (black morels, section Distantes sensu Clowez 2012) and Esculenta (yellow
morels, section Morchella sensu Clowez 2012) was dated to the early Cretaceous,
approximately 125 Mya. These clades comprise at least 27 and 36 phylogenetically distinct
species respectively (O'Donnell et al. 2011; Du et al. 2012a, b; Voitk et al. 2014). Because
binomials could be applied to only four species with confidence, phylospecies within these
two clades were informally named using Mes (for Esculenta Clade) or Mel (for Elata Clade)
codes followed by a unique Arabic number. Although epithets based on European collections
are typically used in taxonomic treatments of morels from Asia (Imazeki et al. 1988) and
North America (Arora 1986, Weber 1995), the phylogenetic results indicate that these names
might be misapplied, given that the majority of morels appear to exhibit high continental
endemism and provincialism in the northern hemisphere, consistent with their proposed
evolutionary origin in Laurasia (O'Donnell et al. 2011).
Uncertainty over what epithet to accept, especially for North American taxa, was
complicated significantly by the recent publication of independent morphological (Clowez
2012) and molecular and morphological systematic treatments of the genus (Kuo et al. 2012).
Because the epithets proposed by Clowez (2012) have priority over those applied to
conspecifics in Kuo et al. (2012), the primary objective of the present study was to assess
what taxa in the latter study represent nomenclatural synonyms of taxa validly published by
Clowez (2012). To accomplish this objective, we attempted to obtain phylogenetically
informative DNA sequence data from the holotypes and paratypes available for European
species, especially those described by Clowez (2012), to determine what names should be
accepted for the morels sampled. Finally, the present study sought to provide a comprehensive
overview of the distribution and diversity of true morels within Europe and North America.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Taxon sampling.—Most of the collections analyzed in the present study represent types
included in Clowez (2012) that were deposited in LIP. Also, some additional collections of
Pierre Collin and Pierre-Arthur Moreau, as well as recent collections deposited by P. Clowez
(LIP), together with collections from LUG, O and S (Thiers B [continuously updated]) were
included (SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE I). Duplicates of all material from LIP used for DNA
analyses are kept in the fungal herbarium of the CEFE-CNRS (1919 route de Mende, F –
34293 Montpellier, France). Collections cited in Clowez (2012) for which DNA sequence data
could not be generated are not mentioned below.
Nomenclature and typifications.—To support several early lectotypes (i.e. illustrations or
material where DNA sequences could not be obtained), epitypes were selected using the
following criteria: i. the collection came from the original continent and biogeographical
region as indicated in the protologue; ii. a good photograph and if possible a full description
from a freshly collected epitype is available; and iii. DNA sequence data was obtained from at
least three loci, including the ITS, which has been recently proposed as a universal DNA
barcode marker for Fungi (Schoch et al. 2012). When two names of equal priority (i.e.
published simultaneously in a same paper) were treated as synonyms (McNeill et al. 2012,
Art. 11.5), the choice was made in favor of the best-documented name (i.e. original
material/type in good condition and documented by DNA sequence data from the most loci).
The dates of effective publication were 16 Apr 2012 for Clowez (2012) and 29 Aug 2012 for
Kuo et al. (2012). Although a preliminary version of the latter was published online on 11 Apr
2012, this does not qualify as effective publication (McNeill et al. 2012, Art. 30.2).
DNA extraction, amplification and sequencing.—DNA extraction and PCR amplification
were conducted with the REDExtract-N-Amp™ Plant PCR Kit (Sigma-Aldrich, St Louis,
Missouri), following the manufacturer's instructions. Efforts were made to PCR amplify
portions of five genetic loci with the following primer pairs: the nuc rDNA region
encompassing the internal transcribed spacer and 5.8S rDNA (ITS) with ITS-1F/ITS-4
(Gardes and Bruns 1993), the partial nuc 28S rDNA D1-D2 domains (28S) with LR0R/LR7
(Vilgalys and Hester 1990), the translation elongation factor 1-α gene (TEF1) with
EF526F/EF3AR (Rehner and Buckley 2005), the RNA polymerase II largest subunit gene
(RPB1) with gRPB1A/aRPB1C (Matheny et al. 2002) and the RNA polymerase II second
largest subunit gene (RPB2) with 9F/3R (Liu et al. 1999). PCR amplifications were performed
in a total volume of 20 μL, including 1 μL genomic DNA, in a master cycler gradient
thermos-cycler (Eppendorf AG, Hamburg, Germany). The cycling parameters were as
follows: 94 C for 3 min, 35 cycles of 94 C for 30 s, 53 C for 30 s, 72 C for 1–2 min, followed
by 72 C for 7 min. Amplicons were purified and sequenced at Genoscope, Evry, France, or at
Biofidal, Lyon, France. Raw sequence data were edited and assembled with Codon Code
Aligner 4.1.1 (CodonCode Corp., Centerville, Masachusetts) and have been deposited in
GenBank (SUPPLEMENTARY TABLES I, II).
Phylogenetic analyses.—Because ITS is insufficient to fully resolve all Morchella species
(Du et al. 2012b), phylogenetic analyses (combining ITS, RPB1, RPB2 and TEF1 sequence
data) were performed when necessary to assign newly sequenced collections to a known or
putatively novel phylogenetic species. Analyses were conducted online at
www.phylogeny.lirmm.fr (Dereeper et al. 2008). Multiple sequence alignment was carried out
with MUSCLE 3.7 (Edgar 2004) using full processing mode and 16 iterations. Alignments
were edited with Gblocks 0.91b (Castresana 2000), set to the lowest stringency parameters.
The three alignments and trees (FIGS. 1–3 are available from TreeBASE as accession number
16395. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses were performed with PhyML 3.0 aLRT
(Zwickl 2006), using the GTR + I + Γ model of evolution. Branch support was assessed using
the non-parametric version of the approximate likelihood-ratio test, implemented in PhyML
(SH-aLRT; Anisimova and Gascuel 2006). SH-aLRT yields values comparable with those
computed by standard bootstrapping or the RAxML rapid bootstrapping method (Anisimova
and Gascuel 2011). Only branch support above 70% is indicated (FIGS. 1–3) because this
threshold has been considered as statistically significant in previous Morchella phylogenies
(O'Donnell et al. 2011: Du et al. 2012 a, b; Taskin et al. 2012). Trees were annotated using
TreeDyn 198.3 (Chevenet et al. 2006; FIGS. 1–3).
The species treated hereafter are illustrated by: i. a selection of 19 pictures depicting the
material studied (FIG. 4a–o and SUPPLEMENTARY FIG. 1a–d), and ii. a diagram depicting the
geographic distribution of each species (FIG. 5). Species are presented in alphabetic order
within the following three sections/clades: Morchella/Esculenta Clade, Distantes/Elata Clade
and Rufobrunnea/Rufobrunnea Clade following Clowez (2012) and O'Donnell et al. (2011).
Taxonomic synonyms accepted on the basis of type studies are cited for each species (TABLE
Morchella Dill. ex Pers.: Fr. in Persoon, Neues Mag Bot (Römer) 1:116 (1794).
Lectotype (Korf, 1972: 973): Phallus esculentus L.: Fr. (syn. Morchella esculenta).
= Boletus Tourn. ex Adans., Fam Pl 2:9. 1763 (nom. illegit., non Boletus L.: Fr.).
= Phalloboletus P. Micheli ex Adans., Fam Pl. 2:9. 1763.
= Eromitra Lév. in Orbigny, Dict Univ Hist Nat 8:490. 1846.
= Mitrophora Lév., Annls Sci Nat, Bot, sér. 3 5:249. 1846.
= Morchella sect. Mitrophora (« Mitrophorae ») (Lév.) S. Imai, Bot Mag, Tokyo 46:174. 1932.
= Morilla Quél., Enchir Fung. (Paris): 270. 1886.
= Section Adnatae Boud., Bull Soc Mycol France 13:132. 1897.
Notes.—This section (FIG. 1) corresponds to the Esculenta Clade (O'Donnell et al. 2011).
Morchella americana Clowez & C. Matherly in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:243.
2012. FIG. 4g
= Morchella americana var. elongata Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:246. 2012.
= Morchella californica Clowez & D. Viess in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126: 246. 2012.
= Morchella claviformis Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:275. 2012.
= Morchella populina Clowez & R. Lebeuf in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:246. 2012.
= Morchella esculentoides M. Kuo et al. in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104:1163. 2012.
Specimens examined. FRANCE. CÔTE-D'OR: Is-sur-Tille, under Buxus sempervirens, 1994, R. Rousseaux,
PhC59 (as “M. umbrina”, LIP 0900096). HAUT-RHIN: Kuhneim, canal d'Alsace, under Populus canadensis, 15
Apr 2013, J.-C. Müller, PhC227 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier); Khembs, under Populus canadensis, 9 May 2013,
J. Grandhay, PhC235 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier). USA. CALIFORNIA: Chico, Bidwell park, under Fraxinus
depilata, 21 Mar 2010, D. Vies s , PhC73 (holotype of Morchella californica, LIP 0900107); Yuba City,
Wheatland, 2012, H. and S. Smith, PhC162 (LIP 0900025). MICHIGAN: locality not specified, under Fraxinus
americana, 2009, H. and S. Smith, PhC51 (holotype of Morchella americana, LIP 0900091). Locality unknown,
under Acer sp., C. Matherly, PhC133 (holotype of Morchella claviformis, LIP 0900161). CANADA. QUÉBEC:
under Ulmus americana, 2010, R. Lebeuf, PhC65 (holotype of Morchella americana var. elongata, LIP
0900102); Laval, under Populus deltoides, 19 May 2011, R. Lebeuf 0672, PhC125 (LIP 0900153); ibid., R.
Lebeuf, PhC128 (LIP 0900156); Pierrefonds, under Zanthoxylum americanum, 19 May 2011, R. Lebeuf 0671,
PhC126 (LIP 0900154).
Notes.—This is Mes-4 (O'Donnell et al. 2011; Du et al. 2012a, b). Four of the species
from North America with yellow, elongate ascocaps (FIG. 4g) described by Clowez (2012) are
considered here as conspecific; they are M. americana and M. californica collected under
Fraxinus, M. claviformis under Acer, and M. populina under Populus (FIG. 1). Clowez (2012)
proposed the old European name M. rigida (Krombh.) Boudier for European collections
PhC227 and PhC235 that we found were conspecific with M. americana. The name M. rigida
is not retained here because no original material exists and its application is still uncertain.
Also this name has only rarely been used in taxonomic treatments of morels in Europe.
Among the simultaneously published names by Clowez (2012), M. americana is retained
against M. californica and M. claviformis because it seems most appropriate for the most
common yellow morel in North America. Morchella americana (Mes-4) is found in central
Europe where it has been identified as M. esculenta by several authors (e.g. Kellner et al.
2005; see notes under this name). This interpretation is not accepted here, because M.
americana appears to be native to North America and absent from Scandinavia and Italy, the
two areas within which the original observations of M. esculenta were made (Micheli 1729,
Fries 1822). We suggest that M. americana was only recently introduced to Europe. This
hypothesis is supported by the observation that most European collections of this species are
from sites with discernible anthropogenic impact, especially hybrid poplar plantations
(PhC227, PhC235, and unpublished data from Spain).
Morchella castaneae L. Romero & Clowez in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:251. 2012.
= Morchella brunneorosea Clowez & Ant. Rodr. in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France
= Morchella brunneorosea var. sordida Becerra Parra & Clowez in Clowez, Bull Soc
Mycol France 126(3-4):251. 2012.
Specimens examined. SPAIN. ANDALUSIA: Aracena, under Castanea sativa, 6 Apr 2011, L. Romero de la Osa,
PhC114 (holotype of Morchella castaneae, LIP 0900143); ibid., under Fraxinus angustifolia and Populus nigra,
2011, L. Romero de la Osa, PhC115 (LIP 0900144). BURGOS: under Fraxinus angustifolia, 2010, A. Rodríguez,
PhC72 (holotype of Morchella brunneorosea, LIP 0900106). MÁLAGA: Ronda, riparian forest under Fraxinus
angustifolia and Populus nigra, 7 Apr 2009, M. Becerra Parra, PhC88 (holotype of Morchella brunneorosea
var. sordida, LIP 0900007).
Notes. This recently discovered species is currently only known from Spain (FIG. 1)
and it was not included in previous molecular phylogenetic analyses. The name M. castaneae
is retained here over M. brunneorosea, which was described simultaneously (Clowez 2012).
Synonymy of M. brunneorosea var. sordida (PhC88) with M. castaneae was established by
molecular phylogenetic analyses of RPB2 and TEF1, since ITS sequence could not be
obtained for PhC88 (results not shown, see SUPPLEMENTARY TA BL E I).
Morchella esculenta (L.: Fr.) Pers., Tent Disp Meth Fung:36. 1797. FIG. 4d
Basionym: Phallus esculentus L.: Fr. in Linné, Sp Pl:1128. 1753.
Typification: Micheli, Gen Pl: pl 85, fig 2. 1729 (lectotype, designated by Clowez
2012). FRANCE. OISE: Béhéricourt, under Fraxinus excelsior, 2009, P. Clowez PhC10
(epitype designated here, LIP 0900051, MycoBank MBT 177737, cited by Clowez 2012 as
“Morchella esculenta”). Isoepitypes S (F254891), CEFE-CNRS.
= Morchella esculenta var. aurantiaca Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:230. 2012.
= Morchella esculenta var. rubroris Clowez & L. Martin in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:236.
= Morchella ochraceoviridis Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:239. 2012.
= Morchella ovalis var. minor Clowez & L. Martin in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:242. 2012.
[= Morchella pseudoumbrina Jacquet., Les Morilles:103. 1984 (nom. inval., Art. 40.1); in Jacquetant &
Bon, Doc Mycol 56:1. 1985(1984’)] (nom. inval., Art. 33.1, 41.5)
[= Morchella pseudoviridis Jacquet., Les Morilles:103. 1984 (nom. inval., Art. 40.1); in Jacquetant &
Bon, Doc Mycol 56:1. 1985(‘1984’)] (nom. inval., Art. 33.1, 41.5)
Specimens examined. BELGIUM. Locality unknown, 8 May 1991, P. Collin, 910508 (LIP). FRANCE. ISÈRE:
Saint-Sébastien, under Fraxinus excelsior subsp. oxycarpa, Apr 2010, L. Martin, PhC54 (holotype of M.
esculenta var. rubroris, LIP 0900092). NORMANDY: under Malus sylvestris, Apr 2011, P. M oi n et , P hC 9 2 (LIP
0900120). OISE: Fleurines, under Fraxinus excelsior and Aesculus hippocastanum, Apr 2010, F. P et it , PhC30
(holotype of M. esculenta var. aurantiaca, LIP 0900069); ibid., under Ulmus minor, Mar 2011, F. Petit, PhC89
(LIP 0900117); ibid., under Fraxinus excelsior, Apr 2011, F. Petit, PhC106 (LIP 0900135); Saint-Maximin,
under Fraxinus excelsior on wet ground, Apr 2011, F. Petit, PhC95 (LIP 0900122); ibid., under Ulmus minor,
Mar 2010, R. Chartier, PhC53 (holotype of M. ochraceoviridis, LIP 0900010). VAR : Siou Blanc, under
Quercus ilex, 2010, L. Martin, PhC13 (LIP 0900054). NORWAY. ØSTFOLD: Fredrikstad, Kråkerøy, under
Ulmus sp., 21 May 1981, R. Kristiansen, Jacquetant 150476 (as “holotype of M. pseudoviridis”, O 72837).
SPAIN. ARAGÓN: Huesca, Arguis, under Populus sp., 2009, L. Ballester, PhC143 (LIP 0900171); Belsué,
under Populus canadensis, 19 Apr 2013, P. C lo we z, PhC222 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier). SWITZERLAND.
GENEVA: Malval, along the Allondon river, 6 May 2004, O. Röllin, PhC198 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier).
Notes.—Morchella esculenta is the type species of Morchella and one of the most
commonly used names. We adopt here the name for Mes-8 (O'Donnell et al. 2011; Du et al.
2012a, b) following Clowez (2012), and based on this being one of the most common and
widely distributed yellow morels in Europe (FIG. 1, 4d). It was reported as Mes-8 from
France, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, Czech Republic and China (O'Donnell et al. 2011; Du et
al 2012a, b; Taşkın et al. 2012), as well as Norway, Spain and Switzerland (this study). Our
ITS sequence analysis of M. ovalis var. minor and M. ochraceoviridis indicates these species
are conspecific with M. esculenta. These taxa were previously recognized based on divergent
colors and putative host specific associations with Quercus sp. and Ulmus sp. respectively
(Clowez 2012). In addition, an ITS sequence of a collection identified by P. Clowez (PhC92)
as “M. esculenta var. rotunda”, a taxon often recognized as an independent species in
European literature, was found to be identical to other Mes-8 ITS sequences. Also, ITS
sequences of M. pseudoumbrina and M. pseudoviridis, two species (invalidly published)
placed in sect. Pseudoadnatae by Jacquetant (1984) because of a conspicuous sulcus, and
collected in Norway by R. Kristiansen (original material of M. pseudoviridis deposited at O,
and additional material in Kristiansen's personal herbarium, cited by Kristiansen 1982:72 as
“Morchella sp.” 10 and 11), revealed these were identical to M. esculenta (Mes-8). Large
specimens of M. esculenta with a thick stipe are often reported as M. crassipes, a solid
tradition in North American (McKnight and McKnight 1987, Volk and Leonard 1989) and
central European (Buscot et al. 1996, Wipf et al. 1999, Kellner et al. 2005, Degreef et al.
2009; authors of the former two studies applied the name M. esculenta to another taxon, see
notes under M. americana) literature. Although collections under Quercus sp. in Spain were
morphologically distinct from typical M. esculenta, in that they possessed a long, slender stipe
and ovoid pileus, they were nested phylogenetically within M. esculenta (FIG. 1).
Morchella galilaea Masaphy & Clowez in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126 (3-4): 238.
Notes.— Based on an ITS sequence provided by S. Masaphy from the holotype (MS1-52,
Applied Microbiology and Mycology Department, MIGAL, Kiryat Shmona and Tel Hai
Academic College, Upper Galilee, Israel) and available in GenBank as “Morchella crassipes”
(No. GU589858, cited in the protolog; Clowez 2012), M. galilaea was determined to
correspond to Mes-16 (FIG. 1). It is a well characterized species, illustrated from a greenhouse
in Turkey by Taşkın et al. (2012:448, FIG. 2C). The cosmopolitan distribution of M. galilaea,
for example Hawaii (GenBank Nos. M308-M310), India (AJ539479, GQ228462 etc.), New
Zealand (JF423317), Java (M685), China (HKAS55839) and Africa (EU701000) (O'Donnell
et al. 2011; Du et al. 2012b) is likely due to anthropogenic activities.
Morchella sceptriformis Clowez & C. Matherly in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:289.
2012. FIG. 4m
= Morchella virginiana O’Donnell & S.A. Rehner in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104(5):1161. 2012.
Specimens examined. USA. NEW JERSEY: locality unknown, under Liriodendron virginiana, 2011, C.
Michaud, PhC76 (holotype of Morchella sceptriformis, LIP 0900110).
Notes.—This eastern North American endemic is conspecific with Morchella
virginiana and corresponds to Mes-3. It was collected under Liriodendron tulipifera in
Clowez (2012) and Kuo et al. (2012).
Morchella steppicola Zerova, J Bot Acad Sci Ukraine, 2(1):155. 1941.
Specimens examined. SERBIA. Beogradi, Titelski, in grasslands, 17 Apr 2012, S. Radić,
Notes. This morphologically distinct species corresponds to Mes-1 (FIG. 1) and
represents the earliest diverging lineage within the Esculenta Clade (O'Donnell et al. 2011). It
is known from steppic meadows of eastern Europe where it may represent a relict lineage of
morels adapted to dry continental meadows.
Morchella ulmaria Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:254 (2012). FIG. 4c
= Morchella cryptica M. Kuo & J.D. Moore in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104(5):1166. 2012.
Specimens examined. CANADA. QUÉBEC: under Ulmus americana, 2011, R. Lebeuf, PhC124, LIP 0900152,
holotype of Morchella ulmaria.
Notes.—Morchella cryptica is shown to be a later synonym of M. ulmaria (FIG. 4c)
and corresponds to Mes-11 (O'Donnell et al. 2011, Kuo et al. 2012). It is an eastern North
American endemic that forms a monophyletic group with the European (Spanish) M. castanea
and the Asian Mes-10 and Mes-25 (FIG. 1). The holotype was collected under a dying elm
tree, but other collections were made under Fraxinus americana, Liriodendron tulipifera
(tulip poplar) and Acer sp. (Kuo et al. 2012).
Morchella vulgaris (Pers.: Fr.) Gray, Arrangem Brit Pl I:662. 1821. FIG. 4a
Basionym: Morchella esculenta β vulgaris Pers., Syn Meth Fung:619. 1801.
Typification: Sowerby 1797, Col fig Engl Fung 1, pl. 51, right fig. (lectotype,
designated by Clowez, 2012). FRANCE. OISE: Béhéricourt, under Fraxinus excelsior with
Ranunculus ficaria, 18 Apr 2010, P. Clowez PhC3 (epitype designated here, LIP 0900044,
MycoBank MBT 177738, cited by Clowez 2012 as “Morchella vulgaris”). Isoepitypes S
= Morchella acerina Clowez & C. Boulanger in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:274. 2012.
= Morchella andalusiae Clowez & L. Romero in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:255. 2012.
= Morchella anthracina Clowez et Vanhille in Clowez, Bull. Soc. Mycol. France 126:258. 2012.
= Morchella conica var. pygmaea Clowez & Delaunoy in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:310.
= Morchella lepida Clowez & Petit in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:259. 2012.
= Morchella robiniae Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:287. 2012.
= Morchella vulgaris var. aucupariae Clowez & Moingeon in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:270.
Specimens examined. FRANCE. CHARENTES-MARITIMES: Royan, white dune with Ammophila
arenaria, 2011, L. Martin, PhC109 (LIP 0900138). OISE: Caisnes, under Fraxinus excelsior with Hedera helix,
Apr 2011, P. C l ow ez , PhC98 (LIP 0900125); Chiry-Ourscamp, under Robinia pseudoacacia, 2010, G. Deguise,
PhC55 (holotype of Morchella robiniae, LIP 0900093); Fleurines, under Crataegus oxyacantha, 20 Apr 2009, F.
Petit, PhC6 (holotype of Morchella lepida, LIP 0900047); ibid., under Sorbus aucuparia, Apr 2011, F. Petit,
PhC130 (LIP 0900158); Nampcel, under Fraxinus excelsior, Apr 2012, P. C lo we z, PhC155 (LIP 0900180);
Suzoy, under Fraxinus excelsior, Apr 2009, P. Cl ow e z, PhC9 (LIP 0900050); ibid., under Fraxinus excelsior
with Ranunculus ficaria, Apr 2010, P. C lo w ez , PhC28 (LIP 0900067); ibid., under Ulmus laevis and U. minor,
Apr 2011, P. C l ow ez , PhC93 (LIP 0900121); ibid., under Fraxinus excelsior and Hedera helix, Mar 2011, P.
Clowez, PhC103 (LIP 0900132); Neuilly-en-Thelle, under Ribes nigrum, Apr 2010, F. Vanhille, PhC166
(holotype of Morchella anthracina, LIP 0900181). PAS-DE-CALAIS: Marck, les Hemmes, under a young Abies
concolor in a garden on sand dune, 30 Apr 2012, P. - A. M o re au , PAM12043004 (LIP); Wissant, Mont-de-Couple,
under Acer pseudoplatanus, Apr 2009, C. Boulanger & D. Huart, PhC67 (holotype of Morchella acerina, LIP
0900013). ÎLE-DE-FRANCE: locality not specified, under Fraxinus excelsior, Apr 2010, M.-A. Delaunoy,
PhC21 (holotype of Morchella conica var. pygmaea, LIP 0900061). SPAIN. ANDALUCÍA: Aracena, under
Fraxinus angustifolia, 2011, L. Romero de la Osa, PhC118 (holotype of Morchella andalusiae, LIP 0900147);
ibid., under Castanea sativa and Populus nigra, 2011, L. Romero de la Osa, PhC119 (LIP 0900148).
Notes.—This widespread polymorphic European endemic (FIGS. 1, 4a) was reported as
Morchella spongiola Boud. (Boudier 1897) in previous molecular systematic (Buscot et al.
1996, Wipf et al. 1997, 1999, Kellner et al. 2005) and morphological studies (Clowez 2012);
it corresponds to Mes-17 (O'Donnell et al. 2011). However, Clowez (2012) also used the name
M. vulgaris for collections that are nested within Mes-17 and this name has priority over M.
spongiola. Furthermore results of our phylogenetic analysis (FIG. 1) indicated that the
following species described and/or accepted by Clowez (2012) based on putative host tree and
ascomata morphology, represent taxonomic synonyms of M. vulgaris: M. dunensis (Castañera
& G. Moreno) Clowez in sand dunes, M. acerina with Acer pseudoplatanus, M. andalusiae
with Fraxinus angustifolia, M. anthracina with Ribes nigrum, M. lepida with Crataegus spp.,
M. robiniae with Robinia pseudoacacia and M. spongiola with Ulmus spp. We accept M.
vulgaris here as lectotypified by Clowez (2012), and designate a recent collection as epitype
with a color photograph and ITS, LSU, RPB2 and TEF1 sequences, to stabilize the name.
Section Distantes Boud., Bull Soc Mycol France 13:133. 1897.
= Morchella sect. Mitrophora “Mitrophorae” (Lév.) S. Imai, Bot Mag (Tokyo) 46:174. 1932.
Notes.—This section (FIGS. 2-3) based on Morchella distans Fr. (Boudier 1897:143)
corresponds to the Elata Clade (O'Donnell et al. 2011).
Morchella angusticeps Peck, Ann Rept N Y St Mus, 32:44. 1879.
Specimens examined. CANADA. QUÉBEC: Québec, under Populus grandidentata, 2010, R. Lebeuf, PhC45
Notes.—Morchella angusticeps corresponds to Mel-15 (O'Donnell et al. 2011). It
appears to be endemic to eastern North America (FIG. 2), frequently producing ascomata near
Populus spp. or Liriodendron tulipifera. Kuo et al. (2012) epitypified this species. According
to our molecular data, the collection PhC121, published as M. angusticeps by Clowez (2012),
is M. septentrionalis (FIG. 3). Collection PhC45, reported here as M. angusticeps, was not
Morchella deliciosa Fr.: Fr. in Fries, Syst Mycol (Lundae) 2:8. 1822. FIG. 4i
= Morilla deliciosa (Fr.: Fr.) Quél., Compt-Rend Assoc Franç Avancem Sci 20:465. 1892.
Lectotype designated here: color plate by Weinmann (1739, pl. 523 fig. h, as “Fungus
cavernosus, Mousseron”), showing one specimen, cited mistakenly by Fries (1822:8) as “pl.
533, f. 1”. MycoBank MBT 177739.
= Morchella conica var. flexuosa Clowez & Luc Martin in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:306.
= Morchella conica var. nigra Clowez & Moyne in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:307. 2012.
= Morchella conica var. violeipes Clowez & Mourgues in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:311.
Specimens examined. FRANCE. DRÔME. Lus-la-Croix-Haute, under Picea abies close to Buxus sempervirens,
2007, L. Martin, PhC16 (holotype of Morchella conica var. flexuosa, LIP 0900057). DOUBS: Bonnevaux, under
old spruce (Picea abies), 2011, G. Moyne, PhC78 (holotype of Morchella conica var. nigra, LIP 0900111).
HAUTES-ALPES: Saint-André-d’Embrun, col de la Coche, under Larix decidua, 2007, Y. Mourgues, PhC86
(holotype of Morchella conica var. violeipes, LIP 0900019). OISE: Ully-Saint-Georges, under Fraxinus
excelsior, 20 Mar 2011, P. C lo we z, PhC90 (LIP 0900118).
Notes.—Morchella deliciosa (FIG. 3; applied to Mel-26) is a name frequently used in
European literature (Marchand 1971:192, pl. 87, as “M. conica var. deliciosa”; Jacquetant
1984: 60; Dissing 2000), although not retained by Clowez (2012), who listed the material
studied here under “Morchella conica” and varieties (see M. conica under Doubtful names
below). All of the collections we analyzed are morphologically similar: small, dark ascomata
with an acute apex, frequently with bluish or purplish shades at first, colors fading little with
age (FIG. 4i). As pointed out by Marchand (1971:192), a curved pileus apex was observed in
most of the collections studied.
All European authors recognizing the name M. deliciosa have a similar concept of this
taxon, that is a small, dark and early fruiting morel with longitudinal crests (e.g. Breitenbach
and Kränzlin 1984:45; Marchand 1971:192; Jacquetant 1984:60; Medardi 2006:138). When
Fries (1822:8) described M. deliciosa, he referred to the plate by Weinmann (1739) and fresh
specimens collected in grassy hardwoods in Sweden. A half-tone plate by Mentzel (1682:pl. 6,
as “Fungus porosus pyramidalis et in metam fastigiatus quadruplex, March, Br.”), illustrating
five specimens, is cited by Fries (1822:6) under “M. esculenta”, but a part is also cited under
M. deliciosa (Fries 1822:8; “etiam accedit Mentzel. var. 2”, referring to Mentzel’s description
“apice pyramidali & angusto”; Mentzel 1682:126).
Fries' description applies to a small fungus (“1–2½ inches”, i.e. 2.5–6.4 cm) with deep
linear, oblong pits. Weinmann's (1739:pl. 523) water coloring is not very informative but
compatible in showing a single, slender dark gray ascomata with conspicuous irregular
longitudinal crests. No color is mentioned by Fries. Our observations suggest that the
ascomata is originally pale gray with pinkish tones, usually turning dark ash-gray when
ageing, with possible olivaceous shades in the pits. Some faded collections are possibly
referred to as M. deliciosa var. carnea Bres. (illustrated by Medardi 2006:139), others are
initially dark gray to anthracite black and were described as M. conica var. nigra by Clowez
(2012). It seems likely that the latter collections were named “M. conica” or “M. intermedia”
by some authors, for example Boudier (1909), Jacquetant (1984).
ITS sequence analysis was unable to distinguish our collections of M. deliciosa (Mel-
26) from Mel-13 (FIG. 2), as previously established (Du et al. 2012b). However, the
multilocus phylogenetic analysis revealed that the collections cited above correspond to Mel-
26 (FIG. 3). Previously sequences of M. deliciosa (as Mel-26) were only known from Turkey
(Taşkın et al. 2012). Here we add sequences from France, confirming by molecular data the
broader distribution of this species.
An epitype of M. deliciosa should be selected from one of the countries of origin
(preferable from Sweden or from Germany in Weinmann's collecting area around
Regensburg). Because we lack Mel-26 collections from these areas, we postpone
epitypification of M. deliciosa until such material becomes available and assigned to species
through multilocus phylogenetic analysis.
Morchella dunalii Boud., Bull Soc Mycol France 3:95. 1887. FIG. 4k
Typification: original water coloring by Dunal (MPU), pl. 2 fig. 3 (lectotype designated and
reproduced by Moreau et al. 2011:269, as Fig. 2D). FRANCE. VAR: Lorgues, under Quercus
ilex, 9 Mar 2011, L. Martin PhC120 (LIP 0900128) (epitype designated here, MycoBank
MBT 177741, cited by Clowez 2012 as “M. dunalii”). Isoepitypes S (F254894), CEFE-
= Morchella fallax Clowez & L. Martin in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):318. 2012.
Misinterpretation: Morchella rielana Boud. sensu Clowez (2012: 321).
Specimens examined. FRANCE. CORSE DU SUD: Bonifacio, open forest close to
Quercus ilex and Olea europaea, May 2013, P. Geniez and B. Schatz, FR2013191 (herb.
CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier); VAR: Lorgues, under Fraxinus excelsior or angustifolia close to
Quercus ilex, 2010, L. Martin, PhC14 (holotype of Morchella fallax, LIP); locality not
specified, under Pinus sp. and Quercus ilex, 2009, L. Martin, PhC15 (LIP 0900056, as “M.
Notes.—Multilocus phylogenetic analysis led us to apply the name Morchella dunalii
to Mel-25 (FIG. 3). Morchella dunalii was the first species of Morchella described by Boudier
(1887), based on a water coloring of a Mediterranean collection from the Montpellier area
(published by Moreau et al. 2011). Boudier emphasized the contrast between the dark crests
and pale pits, a common feature in the collections studied here (FIG. 4k). In France and Spain,
this species appears to occur typically under Quercus ilex on calcareous soils. But it was
reported from Turkey under Pinus spp. (Taşkın et al. 2012, as Mel-25). On the basis of paler
colors, Clowez (2012) distinguished M. fallax from M. dunalii. However, multilocus
phylogenetic analysis of the holotype of M. fallax does not support it as distinct from M.
dunalii (FIG. 3). The collection PhC15, cited as “Morchella rielana” by Clowez (2012:321), is
also conspecific to M. dunalii. The identity of M. rielana, originally described from a non-
Mediterranean area (Boudier 1909), remains to be determined.
Morchella eximia Boud., Icon Mycol, expl pl. 6, pl. 208. 1909. FIG. 4j
Typification: Holotype not located (PC). Water color painting by Boudier, “Icones
Mycologicae” No. 532, 3 ascomata, spores and hymenium, from J.-B. Barla (Nice, F) on a
post-fire site in April, collections of the National Museum of Natural History, Paris; published
by Boudier 1909: pl. 208 (lectotype designated here, MycoBank MBT 177742). FRANCE.
HAUTE-CORSE: Tattone, burnt forest of Pinus nigra subsp. laricio, Pinus pinaster and
Arbutus unedo, 30 Apr 2008, F. Richard and P.-A. Moreau, FR0410 (epitype designated here,
LIP 0900129, MycoBank MBT 177743, cited and illustrated by Clowez 2012 as “M.
eximia”). Isoepitypes S (F254895), CEFE-CNRS.
= Morchella eximia f. multiformis Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):327. 2012.
= Morchella anthracophila Clowez & Winkler in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):322. 2012.
= Morchella carbonaria Clowez & Chesnaux in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):326. 2012
= Morchella septimelata M. Kuo in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104(5):1171. 2012.
- Morchella eximia f. acuminata (J.Kickx f.) Clowez Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):329. 2012 (sensu
Specimens examined. AUSTRALIA. SOUTH WEST: Northcliff, burnt forest of Eucalyptus
diversicolor, 19 Aug 2012, P. Donecker, PhC200 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier). CANADA. BRITISH
COLUMBIA: burnt ground under Pinaceae, 2010, R. Chesnaux, PhC17 (holotype of Morchella anthracophila,
LIP 0900058); ibid., burnt forest under Thuja plicata, R. Chesnaux, 2010, PhC41 (holotype of Morchella
carbonaria, LIP 0900080). FRANCE. HAUTE-CORSE: Tattone, burnt forest of Pinus nigra subsp. laricio,
Pinus pinaster and Arbutus unedo, 30 Apr 2008, F. Richard and P.- A . Mo re a u FR7 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier).
VAR: Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, on rubble, plaster etc., 2010, J.-C. Hermitte, PhC70 (holotype of Morchella eximia f.
multiformis, LIP 0900015). SPAIN. CASTILE-LEÓN: Avila, burnt ground under Pinus pinaster, 2010, F.
Hidalgo and J. Undagoita, PhC27 (LIP 0900066). Locality unknown, purchased at the Rungis market (France),
Apr 2011, P. C l ow ez , PhC24 (LIP 0900063). USA. WASHINGTON: Klickitat, highway 141, under Pseudotsuga
menziesii after a major fire, elev. 1000 m, 5 Apr 2013, M. Beug, PhC253 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier); ibid., M.
Beug, PhC254 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier); 24 May 2013, M. Beug, PhC255 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier).
Notes.—This widespread post-fire morel sometimes fruits extensively in burnt forests
as well as on rubble. Clowez (2012) also reported this species as M. eximia, but accepted
several forms. Collections of these forms, however, share identical sequences with collections
of M. eximia (FIG. 2). The name M. acuminata could be considered, but we regard it as a
doubtful name because it is poorly documented, without original material (Kickx 1867), and
because this species has been interpreted in the past as a form of M. elata (Marchand 1973).
Therefore we adopt the unambiguous name M. eximia, based on the detailed illustration and
complete description by Boudier (1909). All collections from Europe, Turkey and North
America (as Mel-7 or Morchella septimelata) share an identical ITS sequence, except for the
holotypes of M. septimelata and M. carbonaria that possess slightly divergent alleles (FIG. 2).
The present and previous multilocus phylogenetic analyses have resolved all these collections
as a single genealogically exclusive lineage (O’Donnell et al. 2011; Du et al. 2012a,b).
Morchella eximioides Jacquet. ex R. Kristiansen, Agarica 10/11(19/20):10. 1990.
UPPLEMENTARY FIG. 1c
Specimens examined. NORWAY. FREDRIKSTAD Ø: Nabbetorp, near Glomma, Østfold, under Salix and other
deciduous trees, 17 May 1981, R. Kristiansen, Jacquetant 290579 (holotype of M. eximioides, O 72834).
SWEDEN. UPPLAND, Hållnäs, Slada, 14 May 1989, S. Ryman 8667 (as “Morchella elata”, UPS F-130641).
Descriptions and illustrations. Kristiansen (1982:72 and fig. 7, as “9. Morchella sp.”);
Jacquetant (1984:100-101, as “M. conicopapyracea”); Kristiansen (1990:10, as “M.
Notes.— Based on DNA sequence analysis of the holotype (FIG. 2), this species is
interpreted as Mel-16 from Europe and China (O’Donnell et al. 2011). The holotype kept at
Oslo is represented by half of a well-preserved ascoma. It is obvious from our study of the
specimens from the Oslo herbarium that an error was made in Jacquetant (1984:100-101): the
description and watercoloring of “M. conicopapyracea Jacquet.” clearly applies to the half-
specimen found in the herbarium envelope Jacquetant 290579, invalidly designated (without
a direct reference to the page with the latin diagnosis, McNeill et al. 2012, Art. 33.1, 38.13) as
“holotype” of M. eximioides by Jacquetant & Bon (1985) and labelled as such in the Oslo
herbarium (see SUPPLEMENTARY FIG. 1c). Conversely, the “holotype” specimens of M.
conicopapyracea Jacquet., Jacquetant 260581 (O), was described and illustrated as “M.
eximioides” in Jacquetant (1984). An earlier publication by Kristiansen (1982:70-72), citing
localities and dates of his collections that were described as M. norvegiensis, M.
conicopapyracea and M. eximioides (as 5., 7., and 9. Morchella sp., respectively) suggests
that the error originates from either an inversion of the labels of the duplicates sent to
Jacquetant, or from Jacquetant himself. The error was replicated at the point of valid
publication of the names by Kristiansen (1990:10), who reproduced the watercolorings
(Jacquetant 1984:101), diagnoses (op. cit.:104) and “holotype designations” (Jacquetant and
Bon 1985:1). Since names are inextricably linked to the designated holotypes, even if they
bear no relation to the descriptions, we follow here the type designations (McNeill et al. 2012,
Art. 9.1). Morchella eximioides was not included by Clowez (2012) and Kuo et al. (2012). It
is a closely related sister species to the North American M. angusticeps (Du et al. 2012a,b).
Morchella exuberans Clowez, Hugh Sm. & Sandi Sm. in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France
126:330. 2012. FIG. 4f
= Morchella capitata M. Kuo & M.C. Carter in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104(5):1171. 2012.
Specimens examined. SWEDEN. Lule Lappmark, Jokkmokk, Muddus National Park, burnt ground (burn 2006),
3 Sept 2007, S. Kuoljok 0720 (as “Morchella elata”, UPS F-620167). USA. CALIFORNIA: Emigrant Gap, burnt
ground under Pinaceae, 2010, H. and S. Smith, PhC52 (holotype of Morchella exuberans, LIP 0900012).
Notes.—This post-fire morel is distinctive because it frequently is greenish (FIG. 4f).
Morchella exuberans (= Mel-9) has priority over the taxonomic synonym M. capitata. Its
known distribution includes Western North America (O'Donnell et al. 2011) and Sweden
(Taşkın et al. 2012).
Morchella importuna M. Kuo, O'Donnell & T.J. Volk in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104:1172.
- Morchella elata Fr.: Fr. in Fries, Syst Mycol 2:8. 1822 (sensu Clowez, 2012)
- Morchella vaporaria Bartayrès ex Brond., Cryptog Agenais 3 :33. 1830 (sensu Clowez, 2012)
Specimens examined. CANADA. QUÉBEC: on bark, 2010, R. Lebeuf, LIP PhC46 (LIP 0900085). FRANCE.
OISE: Liancourt, under Pyrus, 2012, B. Sanguillaux, PhC156 (LIP 0900038); Ville, under Malus, 2012, S.
Tourel, PhC157 (LIP 0900036). TERRITOIRE DE BELFORT: Belfort, on ground in a cellar, May 1994, C.
Bouvet, PhC20 (holotype of Morchella elata var. major, LIP 090002). SPAIN. CÓRDOBA, Zagrilla, under
Cydonia oblonga, 2011, M. Becerra Parra, PhC111 (LIP 0900140). SWITZERLAND. VALAIS: 15 May 1986,
M. Ferber, (LUG 4609, as “M. hortensis”).
Notes.—Morchella importuna (Mel-10, FIG. 2) is a widespread and genetically
variable species that may have been introduced to Europe (O'Donnell et al. 2011). Clowez
(2012) used the name M. elata Fr.: Fr. for this species, but see Doubtful names below.
Morchella vaporaria Bartayrès ex Brond. (1830), described from a greenhouse with a detailed
plate, or M. hortensis Boud. (1897), are other possible names for this species. However,
because no exsiccatum is likely to exist for these two taxa, and because of the pending
interpretation of the name M. elata, we provisionally retain the recent name M. importuna,
documented by the sequenced type collection. The name M. costata (Vent.) Pers., which is
often used in European literature, is an illegitimate synonym of M. elata (see below, Doubtful
names). Morchella importuna is thought to be saprobic given that it fruits on mulch and
woodchips (Kuo et al. 2012, Mann and Mann 2014).
Morchella populiphila M. Kuo, M.C. Carter & J.D. Moore in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104:1168.
Specimens examined. SPAIN. GRANADA: Arenas de Rey, under Populus x canadensis plantations along a river,
840 m, 21 Apr 2012, M. Becerra Parra, VG3052390 (part in CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier).
Notes.—This species was reported by O'Donnell et al. (2011) as Mel-5 from western
North America (FIG. 2); it was not included in Clowez (2012). This is the first report of this
species in Europe (Spain), represented by a 2012 collection under introduced Populus
cultivars originating from North America. ITS sequences of the Spanish specimen and
collections from Oregon and California are identical. Altogether this suggests a possible
introduction of M. populiphila from North America to Europe.
Morchella pulchella Clowez & Petit in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126:314. 2012.
Specimens examined. FRANCE. OISE: Saint-Maximin, under Buddleja davidii, Mar 2010, F. Petit, PhC56
(holotype of Morchella pulchella, LIP 0900011).
Notes.—Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of the holotype specimen of M. pulchella
from France assigned this species to Mel-31 (FIG. 3), which was previously only known from
Turkey and China. Our analysis does not support reciprocal monophyly of M. pulchella (Mel-
31) and M. septentrionalis (Mel-24); Mel-24 renders Mel-31 paraphyletic. Previous studies
are equivocal about the phylogenetic exclusivity of Mel-24 and Mel-31 (see Du et al. 2012a,
FIG. 4, and Taskin et al. 2012, FIG. 5). However, because morels have been shown to display
high continentalism (O'Donnell et al. 2011) and their distributions are allopatric, we
provisionally maintain these as two putative species. Our results emphasize the need for
additional studies to assess whether there is ongoing gene flow between Mel-31 and Mel-24,
to more critically evaluate their taxonomic status.
Morchella punctipes Peck, Bull Torrey Bot Cl, 30:99. 1903.
Specimens examined. CANADA. QUÉBEC: under Populus grandidentata, 2010, R. Lebeuf, PhC81 (LIP
Notes.—This eastern North American endemic (Mel-4) was revised and epitypified by
Kuo et al. (2012). It forms a strongly supported clade with the North American M. populiphila
and the European M. semilibera (FIG. 2). A unique character, the half-free apothecial margin,
supports this clade; all other morels having a margin fully attached to the stipe. Morchella
punctipes is distinct within this clade by possessing darkening granules on the stipe.
Morchella purpurascens (Boud.) Jacquet. in Jacquetant & Bon, Doc Mycol 56:1. 1985
(‘1984’). FIG. 4n
Basionym: Morchella elata var. purpurascens Boud., Bull Soc Mycol France 13:148. 1897.
Typification: Plate by Krombholz (1834, plate 16 fig. 24), cited by Boudier (1897:148)
(lectotype, designated by Jacquetant & Bon 1985:1). FRANCE. ALPES DE HAUTE-
PROVENCE, Seyne-les-Alpes, under Pinaceae, P. Collombon and N. Van Vooren, 2010,
PhC82 (epitype designated here, LIP 0900018, MycoBank MBT 177745). Isoepitypes S
(F255984) and CEFE-CNRS.
Specimens examined. FRANCE. ALPES DE HAUTE-PROVENCE, Auzet, under Pinaceae, 2010, P.
Collombon and N. Van Vooren, PhC83 (LIP 0900113, as “M. conica var. purpurascens”).
Notes.—Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of the two specimens examined by us
assigns them to Mel-20, a phylogenetic species first discovered in Central Anatolia (Taşkın et
al. 2010; FIG. 3). This species and M. deliciosa as adopted here, were collectively treated by
Clowez (2012) under the name “Morchella conica”. Our results, however, clearly show that
these collections represent distinct species (FIG. 3). The name M. purpurascens is proposed
here as the oldest unambiguous name available for this apparently common species with a
short stipe and elongate, somewhat obtuse pileus whose distribution ranges from Sweden to
Turkey (Taşkın et al. 2012). We epitypify it with the representative collection PhC82, omitted
by Clowez (2012) but found on the same locality as PhC83 (cited by Clowez, loc.cit.:310, as
“M. conica var. purpurascens”) by the same collectors. Members of this clade are
characterized by ascomata with purplish or pinkish colors that do not turn dark grey or black
with age. See also notes under M. norvegiensis.
Morchella quercus-ilicis Clowez, Ballester & L. Romero in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France
126:318. 2012. FIG. 4h
= Morchella quercus-ilicis f. kakiicolor Clowez & L. Romero in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-
Specimens examined. SPAIN. ANDALUCÍA: Aracena, under Castanea sativa, 2011, L. Romero de la Osa,
PhC117 (holotype of Morchella quercus-ilicis f. kakiicolor, LIP 0900146).
Notes.—The holotype collection of M. quercus-ilicis (PhC148) is lost. However,
multilocus phylogenetic analysis of the type of M. quercus-ilicis f. kakiicolor shows this form
correspond to Mel-11 from the Canary Islands (FIG. 3). The genetic identity of M. quercus-
ilicis f. quercus-ilicis remains questionable until the type material is found or a neotype is
designated, which is the object of a separate study (Loizides et al. pers comm). Note that
multilocus phylogenetic analysis is required to resolve M. quercus-ilicis from its sister
species, M. dunalii (FIGS. 2, 3). The two species form a distinct clade within sect.
Distantes/Elata Clade (Du et al. 2012b).
Morchella semilibera DC.: Fr. in Lamarck & Candolle 1805, Fl Fr éd 3, 2:212 (1805), nom.
cons. prop. FIG. 4o
Basionym: Morilla semilibera (DC.: Fr.) Quél., Enchir Fung (Paris):271. 1886.
= Mitrophora semilibera (DC.: Fr.) Lév., Ann Sci Nat, Bot 5:250. 1846.
= Morchella patula var. semilibera (DC.: Fr.) S.Imai, Sci Rep Yokohama Natl Univ 3:15. 1954.
Neotype (Moreau et al. 2014): PhC99 (LIP 0900126). Isoneotypes S (F254893),
= Phallus gigas Batsch: Fr. in Batsch, Elench Fung:131. 1783.
≡ Morchella gigas (Batsch: Fr.) Pers., Syn Meth Fung:619. 1801.
≡ Eromitra gigas (Batsch: Fr.) Lév., Iconogr Champ Paulet:106. 1855.
≡ Ptychoverpa gigas (Batsch: Fr.) Boud., Hist Class Discom Europe:33. 1907.
= Phallus undosus Batsch: Fr. in Batsch, Elench Fung:131. 1783.
≡ Morchella undosa (Batsch: Fr.) Pers., Syn Meth Fung:620. 1801.
= Phallus crassipes Vent.: Fr. in Ventenat, Mém Inst Nat Sci Arts, Sci Math Phys 1:509. 1798.
≡ Morchella crassipes (Vent.: Fr.) Pers., Syn Meth Fung:621. 1801.
≡ Morchella esculenta var. crassipes (Vent.: Fr.) Krombh., Naturgetr Abbild Schw 3:6. 1834.
≡ Mitrophora hybrida var. crassipes (Vent.: Fr.) Boud., Hist Class Discom Europe:33. 1907.
= Helvella hybrida Sowerby, Col Fig English Fungi 2:99. 1799.
≡ Morchella hybrida (Sowerby) Pers., Syn Meth Fung:620. 1801.
≡ Mitrophora hybrida (Sowerby) Boud., Bull Soc Mycol France 13:151. 1897.
= Morchella varisiensis Ruini, Riv Micol 43(1):17. 2000.
= Morchella gigas var. tintinnabulum Clowez & Moinet in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126 (3-
Specimens examined. FRANCE. OISE: Bailly, under Fraxinus excelsior, Apr 2009, F. Pe t it , PhC7 (LIP
0900048); Béhéricourt, under Fraxinus excelsior with Ranunculus ficaria, Apr 2010, P. Cl ow ez , PhC26 (LIP
0900065); Saint-Maximin, under Fraxinus excelsior, 14 Apr 2011, F. Petit, PhC99 (neotype of M. semilibera,
LIP 0900126; isoneotypes S (F254893), CEFE-CNRS). ORNE: Lonrai, under Malus sylvestris, Apr 2010, P.
Moinet, PhC80 (holotype of Morchella gigas var. tintinnabulum, LIP 0900008). ITALY. VARESE: Capolago, 14
Apr 1998, S. Murin (holotype of M. varisiensis, LUG 9100).
Notes.—Clowez (2012) concluded that the name M. gigas, which was adopted by
Kellner et al. (2005), has priority for this species. However, the well-known name M.
semilibera (Mel-3, FIG. 2) has been proposed for conservation over the earlier names, M.
gigas and M. undosa (Moreau et al. 2014).
Morchella septentrionalis M. Kuo, J.D. Moore & Zordani in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104:1175.
Specimens examined. CANADA. QUÉBEC: Québec, under Populus grandidentata, 2011, R. Lebeuf, PhC121
(LIP 0900149, as “M. angusticeps”); ibid., under Fraxinus americana, Apr 2011, R. Lebeuf, PhC123 (LIP
0900151, as “M. sp.”).
Notes.—This is Mel-24. The paraphyletic relationships between this species and M.
pulchella (Mel-31) are discussed under M. pulchella (see above). Clowez (2012) interpreted
one of the collections from Québec (PhC121) as “M. angusticeps”. As epitypified by Kuo et
al. (2012), M. angusticeps represents a distinct species (Mel-15) (see M. angusticeps above).
Also see notes on M. inamoena (see Doubtful names below).
Morchella sextelata M. Kuo in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104:1170. 2012.
Specimens examined. USA. Locality unknown, burnt ground under Pinaceae, 17 Jun 2007, D. Winkler, PhC50
(LIP 0900090, as “Morchella sp.”).
Notes.—This post-fire morel corresponds to Mel-6 (O'Donnell et al. 2011). It was not
included in Clowez (2012), but a collection of this species at LIP was studied by us. This
species has been collected in Western North America, Mexico and Yunnan, China (Du et al.
Morchella tomentosa Kuo, Mycotaxon 105:442. 2008.
Specimens examined. CANADA. BRITISH COLUMBIA: burnt ground under Pinaceae, 2010, R. Chesnaux,
PhC47 (LIP 0900087). Origin unknown, purchased at the Rungis market (France), May 2010, P. C lo we z, PhC48
Notes.—This distinctive post-fire morel, which was informally designated as Mel-1 by
O’Donnell et al (2011), has only been reported from Western North America.
Morchella tridentina Bres., Fungi Tridentini 2:65. 1898.
SUPPLEMENTARY FIG. 1a
Typification: ITALY. TRENTINO: “in silva Tectiologii junta rivulos, acquadotta”, 10 May
1882, G. Bresadola (lectotype designated here, S F9101, MycoBank MBT178121, original
material of Morchella tridentina).
= Morchella frustrata M. Kuo in Kuo et al., Mycologia 104:1167. 2012.
[= Morchella elatoides Jacquet., Les Morilles:103. 1984 (nom. inval., Art. 40.1); in Jacquetant & Bon,
Doc Mycol 56:1. 1985(‘1984’)] (nom. inval., Art. 33.1, 41.5) (sensu Clowez, 2012).
[= Morchella elatoides var. elegans Jacquet., Les Morilles:103. 1984 (nom. inval., Art. 40.1); in
Jacquetant & Bon, Doc Mycol 56:1. 1985(‘1984’)] (nom. inval., Art. 33.1, 41.5) (sensu Clowez, 2012).
Specimens examined. FRANCE. HAUTE-SAVOIE: Excevenex, under Buxus sempervirens and
Pinaceae, end of Apr 1999, A. Anthoine, PhC172 (O. Röllin, part in LIP 0900023); ibid. PhC173 (O. Röllin, part
in LIP 0900021). VAR: Siou Blanc, under Pinus sp., 7 Apr 2011, L. Martin, PhC108 (LIP 0900137); ibid., under
Quercus ilex, 7 Apr 2011, L. Martin, PhC110 (LIP 0900139). ITALY. TRENTINO: “Bosco conifero di Tertoly”,
May 1881, G. Bresadola (original material of Morchella tridentina, S F9099). SPAIN. ANDALUSIA: Aracena,
under Quercus ilex, 2011, L. Romero de la Osa, PhC116 (LIP 0900145). MÁLAGA, Cortes de la Frontera, Sierra
de Libar, under Quercus ilex, 2011, M. Becerra Parra, PhC113 (LIP 0900142). CASTILE-LEÓN: Valladolid,
Montemayor de Pillila, under Quercus ilex, 4 May 2011, A. Garcia Blanco, PhC105 (LIP 0900134). ARAGΌN:
Canfranc, under Pinus sylvestris, 18 May 2012, L. Ballester, PhC176 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier); Huesca,
Loarre, under Pinus sylvestris, 2008, L. Ballester, PhC145 (LIP 0900173); Oroel, under Abies alba, 2004, L.
Ballester, PhC147 (LIP 0900175). LA RIOJA: Pradillo, under Corylus avellana, 2010, L. Ballester, PhC146
(LIP 0900174); ibid., 12 May 2012, L. Ballester, PhC177 (CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier).
Notes.—Clowez (2012) reported French and Spanish collections as M. elatoides,
based on exsiccata and pictures, following Jacquetant’s (1984) description and watercolor.
Abundant fresh specimens were collected by P. Clowez in Spain in spring 2013 that matched
the protologue of M. tridentina (Bresadola 1898) with a detailed plate showing splitting crests
with age. This character was observed in all of the Spanish collections. Pyrenean collections
and some closer to Bresadola’s original locality in the Southwestern Alps, identified as M.
tridentina (Röllin and Anthoine 2001), have ITS sequences that are identical to the Spanish
collections. In addition, studies of two original collections from Bresadola kept at S, one of
them well preserved and in excellent condition (F9101, designated above as lectotype),
supports the interpretation proposed here. Because no material from Bresadola’s original area
in Trentino was available to us, and Bresadola indicated on the labels that the two collections
deposited at S possessed green tones, which have not been observed on any recent collection
cited, an epitype is not proposed here. As noted in the description of M. frustrata (Mel-2, Kuo
et al. 2012), M. tridentina displays characters of both sect. Morchella (dark ascomata that turn
ochraceous to pinkish with age) and sect. Distantes (broad sulcus and conical shape).
Doubtful names in sect. Distantes
Morchella conica Pers.: Fr., Persoon, Tr. Champ. comest.:256. 1819.
≡ Morchella esculenta δ conica (Pers.: Fr.) Fr., Syst Mycol 2:7. 1822.
≡ Morilla conica (Pers.: Fr.) Quél., Enchir Fung:271. 1886.
Notes.—This universally used name in old and recent literature is illegitimate at the rank of
species. Morchella continua Tratt. (Trattinnick 1805:11) was cited in the protologue of M.
conica, and it was explicitly included in M. conica by Persoon (1818). Therefore, according to
the present Code (McNeill et al. 2012), M. conica was published as a superfluous name for M.
continua. Fries’ sanctioning (1822:7) applies only at the subgeneric level. Many authors have
interpreted M. conica as a darkly pigmented species with longitudinal crests. But Trattinnick’s
plate represents an umber-brown ascoma with 4- to 6-sided polygonal pits and it lacks a
sulcus. As such, it does not correspond to any taxon within sect. Distantes and we suggest it
belongs to sect. Morchella. Fries (1822) interpreted it as such when sanctioning it as a variant
of M. esculenta (at an undefined rank). So did Krombholz (1834) in describing M. conica var.
rigida as a member of the M. esculenta group. Boudier (1909) was the first to apply the name
M. conica to a species within Distantes.
Following a long tradition, Clowez (2012) applied the name M. conica to typical
collections of sect. Distantes. Some of the collections we analyzed (cited as var. conica, var.
flexuosa, var. nigra, and var. violeipes) corresponded to Mel-26, for which the name M.
deliciosa is used here (FIG. 3). Others corresponded to Mel-20, here named M. purpurascens
(cited as var. crassa and var. purpurascens) (FIG. 3); to M. vulgaris (Mes-17) (cited as var.
pygmaea); and to M. tridentina (Mel-2) (cited as var. pseudoeximia Clowez, from Chile) (not
shown, see SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE I). Given the confusion concerning the name M. conica, a
proposal to conserve the name together with one to reject M. continua, will be challenging.
Morchella conicopapyracea Jacquet. ex R. Kristiansen, Agarica 10/11:0. 1990.
SUPPLEMENTARY FIG. 1b
Specimens examined. NORWAY. ØSTFOLD: Fredrikstad, Torp Bruk towards Glomma, 26 Apr 1981, R.
Kristiansen, Jacquetant 260581 (holotype of M. conicopapyracea, O 72834).
Descriptions and illustrations. Kristiansen (1982:71 and fig. 5, as “7. Morchella sp.”);
Jacquetant (1984:100-101, as “M. eximioides”); Kristiansen (1990:10, as “M. eximioides”).
Notes.—The ITS sequence from the holotype (Kristiansen 1990; see notes about M.
eximioides above) places M. conicopapyracea in a complex of phylogenetic species (Mel-17-
19-20-34) that cannot be resolved by this single locus (Du et al. 2012b). Unfortunately,
several attempts at amplifying other loci from this Norwegian collection failed. More recent
collections from Scandinavia are required before the name M. conicopapyracea can be
validated and applied unambiguously to a phylogenetic species. See also M. norvegiensis
Morchella elata Fr.: Fr. in Fries, Syst Mycol 2:8. 1822.
Lectotype (Clowez, 2012): line drawing published by Micheli (1729), pl. 85 fig. 3, not validly
designated (see Notes).
≡ Morilla esculenta var. elata (Fr.: Fr.) Quélet, Enchir Fung:271. 1886.
= Phallus anastomosis Batsch, Elench Fung, cont prim:131. 1783.
= Phallus costatus Vent., Dissert. Phallus 1:510. 1798.
≡ Morchella costata (Vent.) Pers., Syn Meth Fung:620. 1801.
≡ Morchella elata f. costata (Vent.) Quél., Mém Soc Émul Montbéliard II, 5:388. 1873.
≡ Morchella elata var. costata (Vent.) Kreisel, Boletus, 1:29. 1984.
Notes.—Application of the name M. elata is postponed because it is still uncertain
what species it represents. All collections cited under this name by Clowez (2012), as well as
those identified as “M. vaporaria” and “M. hortensis” in the herbaria LIP and LUG, refer to
M. importuna (= Mel-10) based on ITS sequence data. This interpretation of M. elata was
based on the ascoma with typically parallel and straight longitudinal crests with transverse
anastomoses, as illustrated in the plate by Micheli (1729:pl. 85 fig. 3), the only iconographic
reference cited by Fries (1822). However, Fries (loc. cit.) also based M. elata on living
material from Sweden (“v.v.”), and possibly original material is present in UPS. Clowez
(2012:331) failed to designate Micheli’s plate as a lectotype in omitting to state “designated
here” or equivalent (McNeill et al. 2012, Art. 7.10). Therefore Fries’ collection could be
selected as a lectotype if it can be interpreted as original (as per Art. 9.12, for lectotype
designation, specimens (isotype & syntypes) have preference over illustrations).
Unfortunately, DNA sequence data could not be obtained from this two-century-old material
(O'Donnell 2014). Currently no collection of Mel-10 is known from Scandinavia and it would
be unfortunate to epitypify M. elata with a taxon that may not occur in Sweden. We
sequenced eight additional recent collections from Sweden from the Elata Clade, but none of
them correspond to Mel-10 (TABLE I). Typification has therefore been deferred until additional
studies of the Elata Clade/sect. Distantes in Europe are completed. Thus, the name M.
importuna is retained provisionally for Mel-10.
Morchella inamoena Boudier, Bull Soc Mycol France 13:149. 1897
Specimens examined. SPAIN. ANDALUSIA: Granada, under Populus, 2010, J. Bleda, PhC2 (LIP 0900043).
Notes.—This species was interpreted by Clowez (2012:311) using a water coloring
published by Boudier (1909:pl. 213) from the original collection by J.-B. Barla from Southern
France (Nice). The collection cited by Clowez (PhC2) belongs to a complex of species (i.e.
Mel-22-23-24-28-29-30-31-32) that cannot be resolved by ITS sequence data (Du et al.
2012b). Also multilocus phylogenetic analysis of PhC2 failed to unambiguously assign this
collection to one of the known phylospecies within the complex (FIG. 3). Additional Southern
European collections will be required to determine the identity of M. inamoena.
Morchella norvegiensis Jacquet. ex R. Kristiansen, Agarica 10/11:9. 1990.
SUPPLEMENTARY FIG. 1d
Specimens examined. NORWAY. ØSTFOLD: Fredrikstad, Torp Bruks towards Glomma, 23 Apr 1981, R.
Kristiansen, Jacquetant 230581 (holotype of M. norvegiensis, O 72835).
Descriptions and illustrations. Kristiansen (1982:70 and fig. 3, as “5. Morchella sp.”);
Jacquetant (1984:100-101); Kristiansen (1990:9).
Notes.—The ITS and LSU rDNA sequences from the holotype of M. norvegiensis
places it in a complex of phylogenetic species (Mel-17-19-20-34) (FIG. 2, SUPPLEMENTARY
FIG. 1d). The ITS sequence is identical to that generated from the holotype of M.
conicopapyracea, which was collected on the same site three days later. Thus, M.
norvegiensis and M. conicopapyracea are likely conspecific, although this needs to be
confirmed using DNA sequence analyses from other loci (RPB1, RPB2 and TEF1) (Du et al.
Morchella section Rufobrunnea Clowez & Courtec., Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):219.
Notes.—The holotypes of Morchella anatolica (K(M)157099) and M. rufobrunnea (XAL
31565) have been analyzed phylogenetically (O'Donnell et al. 2011, Taşkın et al. 2012).
Morchella anatolica Işiloğlu et al., Mycologia 102:455. 2010. FIG. 4b
[= Morchella lanceolata Clowez & Illescas in Clowez, Bull Soc Mycol France 126(3-4):282. 2012,
nom. inval. (“ad int.”, no diagnosis, no type designated)]
Specimens examined. SPAIN. CÓRDOBA: Hornachuelos, pasada de la Algeciras, under Phyllirea latifolia and
Nerium oleander, close to Fraxinus sp. and Quercus sp., Apr 2013, T. I l l escas, PhC233 (CEFE-CNRS,
Montpellier, as “M. lanceolata”).
Notes.—Before the discovery of this distinctive species in Spain in Apr 2013, it was
only known from the type locality in Turkey (Işiloğlu et al. 2010). Morchella anatolica is
sister to M. rufobrunnea, and together they represent the earliest diverging clade of true
morels (Taşkın et al. 2012). The provisional name Morchella lanceolata was previously used
for the Spanish collection (Clowez 2012). The known distribution of M. anatolica suggests
that it might be present in other Mediterranean areas. In contrast to the description and picture
published by Işiloğlu et al. (2010), the material collected by T. Illescas lacked purplish tinges
Morchella rufobrunnea Guzmán et F. Tapia, Mycologia, 90:706. 1998.
Specimens examined. AUSTRALIA. Locality unknown, under olive trees on pine woodchips,
2011, P. D o n e c k er , PhC96 (LIP 0900123).
Notes.—This basal species has only been collected from disturbed sites in Mexico
(Guzmán and Tapia 1998), California, Michigan and Oregon (Kuo 2008), Australia (Elliott et
al. 2014), Israel (Masaphy et al. 2010) and Cyprus (Loizides 2012). Following the initial
report of its culture on a mulch substrate in the laboratory as M. esculenta (Ower 1982), it was
grown commercially in Michigan and Alabama (Ower et al. 1986). Its current transcontinental
distribution appears to be due to recent human activities. The specimens studied here
represent the third collection of this species from Australia (Elliott et al. 2014).
Results of the present study provide the most detailed taxonomic assessment and
nomenclatural treatment of true morels (Morchella) to date in Europe and North America. In
response to the recent publication of a morphology-based taxonomic treatment of true morels
in Europe and North America (Clowez 2012), followed shortly thereafter by a molecular
phylogenetic and morphology-based revision of Morchella in North America (Kuo et al.
2012), the current study was initiated to determine whether any of the taxa reported in these
two studies are synonyms. Forty-seven Esculenta and 60 Elata Clade collections, mostly from
Clowez (2012), were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically together with morel sequences
downloaded from GenBank (FIGS. 1–3). These analyses revealed that at least six of the 13
species described in Kuo et al. (2012) are later synonyms of ones published in Clowez (2012).
For example, M. esculentoides, the most common Esculenta Clade yellow morel in North
America (O'Donnell et al. 2011), was shown to be a synonym of M. americana. Our type
studies also revealed that 12 new species names introduced in Clowez (2012) are synonyms,
including one name in M. esculenta, three names in M. americana and six in M. vulgaris
(TABLE I). While progress was made towards stabilizing the taxonomy of Morchella by
designating lectotypes or epitypes for nine taxa, and determining that M. conica is illegitimate
at the rank of species, the taxonomic position of M. elata requires further study. Even if Elias
Fries deposited authentic material of M. elata in UPS, his two-century old specimens are
unlikely to yield any useful DNA sequence data. Nevertheless, Fries' collections may help
identify the type locality so that the identity of this iconic species can be determined by
analyzing multiple contemporary collections.
Contrary to reports of low species diversity in Europe based on limited sampling
(O'Donnell et al. 2011, Taşkın et al. 2012), we discovered that Europe and North America
possess similar numbers of Morchella spp. by analyzing the rich collections included in
Clowez (2012). Only three of the Morchella species phylogenetically identified in Europe (i.e.
Mel-19, Mel-23 and Mes-5) and North America (i.e. Mel-8, Mel-19 and Mel-36) are now
unnamed (TABLE I), and preliminary descriptions of the latter two taxa have been made,
though not formally published (Beug and O'Donnell 2014; Voitk and Voitk 2014; Voitk et al.
2014). However, because most early names of Morchella were described from Europe
(roughly 77 valid European names were available prior to Clowez (2012), excluding many
subspecific epithets; see Index Fungorum http://www.indexfungorum.org/), and because many
of the species in Asia (n = 21) and Turkey (n = 6) are thought to be endemic, these are still left
unnamed (Taşkın et al. 2010, 2012; Du et al. 2012a, b). It should be pointed out that the
European names published by Jacquetant are invalid (Jacquetant 1984, Jacquetant and Bon
1985), because none of the publications included, or made reference to, both the description,
Latin diagnosis and type material (see notes about M. eximioides above).
To reflect the taxonomic advances reported herein, we have updated the NCBI
GenBank and Morchella MLST databases, and ARS (NRRL) and CBS-KNAW Culture
Collection databases, with the names accepted here. The sequence data generated in the
present study, in which roughly half of the sequences are derived from type specimens, will
serve as invaluable reference points for future systematic, ecological and evolutionary studies
on Morchella. Future studies can also benefit significantly from the discovery of additional
phylogenetically informative genes once they are mined from several morel whole genome
sequences (e.g. http://genome.jgi.doe.gov/programs/fungi/1000fungalgenomes). Once
discovered, these genes should provide invaluable markers for assessing the endemic area of
widespread species (Pringle et al. 2009), such as M. rufobrunnea and M. galilaea, which we
speculate may have been introduced inadvertently into exotic areas by the global trade of
plants (Vellinga et al. 2009). Lastly, because the present and previous molecular phylogenetic
studies have revealed that the majority of Morchella species are restricted geographically to a
continent, results of the present study will be invaluable in formulating policies that promote
the conservation genetics of these charismatic fungi (Hibbett and Donoghue 1996).
We are especially grateful for the help of the curators of the herbaria who kindly allowed us to generate DNA
sequences from exsiccata kept at O (Katriina Bendiksen, Oslo) and LUG (Neria Röhmer, Lugano), to colleagues
who contributed DNA sequences from their own material: Segula Masaphy (Israel), Mustapha Işiloğlu and
Hayrunisa Bas Sermenli (Turkey), and by providing bibliographic and unpublished data: Philippe Callac (INRA,
Bordeaux), Christophe Lécuru (LIP, Lille), Michael Loizides (Cyprus), Anne Molia (Oslo) and Nicolas Van
Vooren (Lyon), to Roy Kristiansen (Fredrikstad) for detailed information about his collections and
correspondences with Émile Jacquetant, to Francesco Bellù (Bolzano) for the translation of Bresadola’s
handwritten labels on collections of M. tridentina kept at Stockholm, and to David Hawksworth and Scott
Redhead for pointing out the invalidity of Jacquetant’s names and their expert assistance in resolving the mix-up
of the original material of M. eximioides and M. conicopapyracea. P. Clowez especially thanks all professional
and amateur mycologists who sent him exsiccata and photographs of morels cited above (see SUPPLEMENTARY
TAB LE I). Photo credits for FIGS. 4 and SUPPLEMENTARY FIGS. 1, 2 are: Philippe Clowez (4a, 4d, 4i, 4l and 4o),
Tomás Illescas (4b), Renée Lebeuf (4c), Luis Romero de la Osa (4e, 4h), Hugh and Sandi Smith (4f), Chris
Matherly (4g), Pierre-Arthur Moreau (4j, S1b, S1c and S1d), Luc Martin (4k), Claudine Michaud (4m), Nicolas
Van Vooren (4n), Ramona Ubral Hedenberg (S1a) and Roy Kristiansen (S2a-m). DNA sequences were generated
at the Service of Genetic Markers of UMR CEFE 5175. We thank Stacy Sink (ARS-USDA, Peoria, Illinois) and
Xiang-hua Wang (SMNH, Stockholm) for generating some of the DNA sequence data and Nathane Orwig (ARS-
USDA, Peoria, Illinois ) for running them in the NCAUR DNA Core Facility, and Béatrice Boury (Univ. Lille 2)
for assistance in the computerized management of LIP. The mention of firm names or trade products does not
imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the US Department of Agriculture over other firms or similar
products not mentioned. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. This project was supported
by the the grant “Diversité des champignons mycorhiziens des plantes” (DivMyc, to Marc-André Selosse) from
the network Bibliothèque Du Vivant (BDV) funded by the CNRS, the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de
Paris, the INRA and the CEA (Centre National de Séquençage). We are grateful to Marie-Pierre Dubois, Finn
Kjellberg and Jean-Yves Rasplus for their support from the BDV program.
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FIG. 1. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogeny of Morchella sect. Morchella (Esculenta Clade) inferred from 77
ITS sequences, rooted on sequences of the earliest diverging lineage within this clade, M. steppicola. The ML
analysis was run in PhyML 3.0aLRT using the GTR+I+Γ model of molecular evolution. Numbers by nodes
represent branch support above 70%, as assessed by the SH-aLRT statistical test (MATERIALS AND METHODS).
Gray highlight is used to identify the 10 species found in Europe and/or North America, which are reported in
the righthand column together with the Mes (Eculenta Clade) number (O'Donnell et al. 2011). Isolates in bold
were sequenced in the present study, and all but two of these were included in Clowez (2012, PhC = Philippe
Clowez) under the binomial as listed in the gray highlight. Sequences of 25 holotypes (HT) and 3 epitypes (EPT)
were included in the analysis.
FIG. 2. ML phylogeny of Morchella sect. Distantes (Elata Clade) inferred from 91 ITS sequences, including 22
types (HT = holotype, NT = neotype, EPT = epitype). The phylogram was rooted on sequences of M. tomentosa,
the basal most member of the Elata Clade, based on more inclusive analyses (Stefani et al. 2010; O'Donnell et al.
2011; Du et al. 2012a, b). Species present in Europe and/or North America are indicated by gray highlight, and
the 60 collections sequenced in the present study are listed in boldface. Fifty-one of these collections were
included in Clowez (2012, PhC voucher numbers). Accepted names are listed in the righthand column together
with the informal Mel (Elata Clade) number (O'Donnell et al. 2011). Numbers by nodes represent branch support
above 70%, as assessed by the SH-aLRT statistical test (MATERIALS AND METHODS).
FIG. 3. ML phylogeny of terminal taxa (Elata subclade sensu O'Donnell et al. 2011) within Morchella sect.
Distantes (Elata Clade) inferred from combined analysis of ITS, RPB1, RPB2 and TEF1 sequences from 38
collections. Sequences of M. quercus-ilicis f. kakiicolor and M. dunalii were used to root the phylogeny. Species
that are known to be present in Europe and/or North America are identified by gray highlight. Darker gray
highlight is used to point out that M. septentrionalis appears to be nested within M. pulchella, and to emphasize
that further work is needed to assess whether they are phylogenetically distinct. The 14 collections in bold font
were reported in Clowez (2012), and include nine types (HT = holotype, EPT = epitype). Accepted names are
listed in the righthand column together with the informal Mel (Elata Clade) numbers (Du et al. 2012a,b).
Numbers by nodes represent branch support above 70%, as assessed by the SH-aLRT statistical test (MATERIALS
FIG. 4. Morchella species. a. M. vulgaris (epitype). b. M. anatolica (PhC233). c. M. ulmaria (holotype). d. M.
esculenta (epitype). e. M. castaneae (holotype). f. M. exuberans (holotype). g. M. americana (holotype). h. M.
quercus-ilicis f. kakiicolor (holotype). i. M. deliciosa (PhC90). j. M. eximia (epitype). k. M. dunalii (epitype). l.
M. pulchella (holotype). m. M. sceptriformis (holotype). n. M. purpurascens (epitype). o. M. semilibera
FIG. 5. Geographic distribution of Morchella species in Europe and North America. Font colors identify
clade/section. PF, post fire species. * = one report from Spain, probably introduced.
Submitted 25 Jun 2014; accepted for publication 10 Nob 2014.
1Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE I. Correspondence between species designations in Du et al. (2012a, b), Clowez (2012), Kuo et al.
(2012) and the present study
Clade/section Du et al.
(2012a, b) Clowez (2012) Kuo et al. (2012) Richard et al.
Rufobrunnea Mrb M. rufobrunnea M. rufobrunnea M. rufobrunnea
nc M. lanceolata ad int. nc M. anatolica HT
Elata/Distantes Mel-1 M. tomentosa M. tomentosa M. tomentosa HT
Mel-2 M. elatoides
M. elatoides var. elegans M. frustrata M. tridentina OM
Mel-3 M. gigas
M. gigas var.
M. semilibera M. semilibera NT
Mel-4 M. punctipes M. punctipes M. punctipes ET
Mel-5 nc M. populiphila M. populiphila HT
Mel-6 nc M. sextelata M. sextelata HT
Mel-7 M. eximia
M. eximia f. acuminata
M. eximia f. multiformis
M. septimelata M. eximia ET
Mel-8 nc nc nc
Mel-9 M. exuberans M. capitata M. exuberans HT
Mel-10 M. elataa
M. vaporaria M. importuna M. importuna1 HT
Mel-11 M. quercus-ilicis
M. quercus-ilicis f.
nc M. quercus-ilicis2
Mel-12 nc M. snyderi M. snyderi HT
Mel-13 nc nc nc
Mel-14 nc nc nc
Mel-15 nc M. angusticeps M. angusticeps ET
Mel-16 nc nc M. eximioides HT
Mel-17 nc nc nc
Mel-18 nc nc nc
Mel-19 nc nc nc3
Mel-20 M. conica var. crassa
M. conica var.
nc M. purpurascens ET
Mel-21 nc nc nc
Mel-22 nc M. brunnea M. brunnea HT
Mel-23 nc nc nc
Mel-24 nc M. septentrionalis M. septentrionalis5 HT
Mel-25 M. dunalii
nc M. dunalii ET
Mel-26 M. conica var. conica6
M. conica var. flexuosa
M. conica var. nigra
M. conica var. violeipes
nc M. deliciosa ET
Mel-27 nc nc nc
Mel-28 nc nc nc
Mel-29 nc nc nc
Mel-30 nc nc nc
Mel-31 M. pulchella nc M. pulchellaa HT
Mel-32 nc nc nc
Mel-33 nc nc nc
Mel-34 nc nc nc
Mel-35 nc nc nc
Mel-36 nc nc nc7
Mes-1 M. steppicola M. steppicola M. steppicola
Mes-2 nc M. diminutiva M. diminutiva HT
Mes-3 M. sceptriformis M. virginiana M. sceptriformis HT
Mes-4 M. rigida
M. americana var.
M. esculentoides M. americana HT
Mes-58 nc nc nc
Mes-6 nc nc nc
Mes-7 nc M. prava M. prava HT
Mes-8 M. esculenta
M. esculenta var.
M. esculenta var.
M. esculenta var. rotunda
M. esculenta var.
M. esculenta var.
M. ovalis var. minor
nc M. esculenta ET
Mes-9 nc nc nc
Mes-10 nc nc nc
Mes-11 M. ulmaria M. cryptica M. ulmaria HT
Mes-12 nc nc nc
Mes-13 nc nc nc
Mes-14 nc nc nc
Mes-15 nc nc nc
Mes-16 M. galilaea nc M. galilaea HT
Mes-17 M. acerina
M. conica var. pygmaea
M. vulgaris var.
M. vulgaris var.
nc M. vulgaris ET
Mes-18 nc nc nc
Mes-19 nc nc nc
Mes-20 nc nc nc
Mes-21 nc nc nc
Mes-22 nc nc nc
Mes-23 nc nc nc
Mes-24 nc nc nc
Mes-25 nc nc nc
Mes-26 nc nc nc
Mes-27 nc nc nc
nc M. castaneae
M. brunneorosea var.
nc M. castaneae HT
nc: Not cited in the corresponding reference. Abbreviations indicate the nomenclatural source on which the
proposals are based: HT, NT, ET and OM designate holotype, neotype, epitype, original material, respectively.
Note: Species names in boldface relate to taxa that are published or documented by type material in the
a See notes on M. elata.
b Type lost, see notes on M. quercus-ilicis.
c For a description see Beug and O’Donnell (2014).
d See notes on M. conica.
e See notes on M. inamoena and M. pulchella.
f See notes on M. conica.
g For a description see Voitk and Voitk (2014), Voitk et al. (2014).
h Mes-5: The ITS rDNA region of the three collections from Europe (M216 = UME 29687 from Sweden, M454
= Museum Bot. Hauniense from Denmark and M508 = DSM 10471 from France) on which Mes-5 was based
(O’Donnell et al. 2011) could not be sequenced. Therefore, additional study is needed to critically assess
whether Mes-5 and Mes-17 are phylogenetically distinct.
West only East only
M. rufobrunnea, M. americana, PF
M. exima , PF
M. exuberans , M. importuna, M. tridentina,
M. populiphila *