Honeycombed cap with brownish black ridges and yellowish brown pits; bottom half hanging free from the whitish stalk; completely hollow. April-May. Cap conical, with honeycomb-like ridges and pits; ridges are brownish black, pits are yellowish brown; deeply pitted; hollow; top half of cap attached to stalk, bottom half hanging free like a skirt. Stalk enlarging at the base to 1–2 inches wide; whitish to ivory; has slight vertical ribs and often small bumps; hollow. Spore print cream to yellowish. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth. Spores are located inside the pits.
Lookalikes: The poisonous false morels (Gyromitra caroliniana and G. brunnea) are reddish and have wrinkled, lobed, or brain-shaped caps and dense (not hollow) stalks. The yellow morel (M. esculentoides) and black morel (M. angusticeps) have larger caps, and the bottom of the cap in both species is fused to the stalk.