A morel mushroom found during a past season in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

On the first day of spring, Iowans with a love of morel mushrooms are already thinking ahead to the season.

Rumors of tiny morels in far south Iowa were popping up on mushroom Facebook pages as early as mid-March, and Missouri has already been reporting morel finds.

Still, die-hard morel hunters who look to soil temperatures and rain as season indicators, think it may take some time before the spongelike delicacies make an appearance in Iowa.

Read about Iowa’s 2023 morel season.

One timing indicator may foreshadow an early season, with lilac bushes already in bud stage on March 19, 2024, the first day of spring. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Though not quite blooming yet, some morel hunters head to the woods when lilacs begin to bloom, or when wildflowers bloom, such as bluebells, trillium and bloodroot, and perennial hostas emerge.

Soil temperatures of 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit are said to be ideal for the mushrooms to make their annual appearance. View the current soil temps for Iowa and Nebraska.

As of this week, soil temperatures are only in the upper 30s to 40 in Iowa. A lack of rain in many parts of the state also concerns mushroom hunters, though rain is in the forecast by the end of this week

For those interested in hunting their own morels, check out this list of tips.