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The fruit bodies are often rufescent and 9–20 cm (3.5–7.9 in) high. The conical cap is 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) high and 2.5–4 cm (1.0–1.6 in) wide at the widest point. The cap surface features pits and ridges, which are formed from the intersection of 16–22 primary vertical ridges and few shorter, secondary vertical ridges, with frequent, sunken, horizontal ridges. The cap is attached to the stipe with a distinct sinus about 2–4 mm deep and 2–4 mm wide. The smooth, splitting ridges remain persistently pale throughout the maturity process, easily distinguishing this species from other species in section Elata, or black morels, which have ridges that typically darken with age. Pits are usually elongated vertically. They are smooth, dull grayish to pale yellowish or nearly whitish when young, later becoming pale tan to pale pinkish tan. The stipe is 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) high by 1–4 cm (0.4–1.6 in) wide and is more or less equal in width throughout its length or sometimes thicker at the base. Its whitish surface is smooth or finely mealy with whitish granules. The flesh is whitish and measures 1–2 mm thick in the hollow cap. The sterile inner surface of the cap is whitish and pubescent (having soft, short and erect "hairs"). The ascospores are smooth, elliptical, and measure 20–26 by 13–18 µm. Asci (spore-bearing cells) are cylindrical, eight-spored, hyaline (translucent) when mounted in dilute (2%) potassium hydroxide (KOH), and measure 225–330 by 15–25 µm. Paraphyses are cylindrical to capitate or moniliform, measuring 95–250 long by 10–25 µm wide, and are septate. Their tips are rounded to somewhat club-shaped or infrequently somewhat fuse-shaped. Elements on the sterile ridges are 50–175 by 12.5–20 µm, and septate. The terminal cells are club-shaped or nearly so.
Morchella tridentina fruit bodies grow solitary, scattered, or in small groups in spring, in mountainous forests and maquis. The exact trophic status of the fungus is not yet known with certainty, but it is suspected to be fucaltitive mycorrhizal or biotrophic. Tree species associated with the fungus include pacific madrone (Arbutus menziesii), oaks (Quercus spp.), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), and white fir (Abies concolor).  In Europe it is often found with holm oak (Quercus ilex), strawberry trees (Arbutus andrachne), olive trees (Olea europaea), Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo), Silver fir (Abies alba) and Scot's pine (Pinus sylvestris). Although it was originally hypothesized that collections of M. frustrata from Turkey might have been recently introduced from North America, numerous collections reported since from remote and undisturbed areas in the Mediterranean and the Alps (including Bresadola's original collection from Trentino), suggest a long-time and well-established presence of this species in Europe.