Auricularia auricula-judae: the Jews ear





The scientific name of the this strange fungus is Auricularia auricula-judae which means "like a Jew's ear". These days however, it seems this description is not politically correct and so I hear it now being referred to as jelly-ear fungus and wood ear fungus instead; the Latin scientific name remains the same. 
 
Whilst most common, like many fungi, in the autumn you can find Jelly-ear all year round growing in various types of dead soft wood but it has a particular preference for elder. It is only brown, soft and supple when it first emerges, it soon hardens and turns black.
 
Very common and edible too; it is the primary edible fungus of Chinese cooking. It is also widely used in Chinese herbal medicine as a cure for all manner of sores and scars but its use in Europe for such purposes ended long ago.

Auricularia auricula-judae: the Jews ear

Popular posts from this blog

Pelvetia canaliculata: the channelled wrack

Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica)