categoryZMushrooms Mushrooms List 

JELLY EAR

JEW'S EAR

Auricularia auricula-judae

[fungi] Family [Auriculariaceae]

month8jan month8feb month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct month8nov month8dec

category
categoryZMushrooms

8th Feb 2010, Scotland. Photo: © John Brailsford
An ear-shaped fungus growing on wood. Baby ones are discoid in shape, slightly older ones develop a rim forming a cup-shape, but as differential growth sets in with a vengeance, all sorts of convoluted shapes are possible as in the large one here.


18th July 2011, Fife, Scotland. Photo: © John Brailsford
More aerial but still contorted into ear-like shapes.


18th July 2011, Fife, Scotland. Photo: © John Brailsford
Growing on dead wood.


18th July 2011, Fife, Scotland. Photo: © John Brailsford
The underside is whitish and like hoar-frost.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : A flattish, convoluted, ear-shaped brownish fungus growing on wood.

The old common name, also reflected in its scientific name, of 'Judas's Ear' eventually became corrupted to 'Jew's Ear', but today 'Jelly Ear' is more politically correct.

It is distinguished by its brown colouration and uncanny ear-like shape, and grows upon both dead and living wood, especially Elder. It is edible, and used to be popular with the Chinese people, but it is not regarded as a choice edible mushroom in the west.

Its peculiar ear-like shape is due to differential growth where the inner parts grow faster than the outer parts near the edge, or, more un-likely, differential shrinkage. But given its size in relation to the much smaller ones next to it, the author opts for the former.

Modern research into possible medical applications have variously concluded that Jelly Ear has antitumour, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering properties.


  Auricularia auricula-judae  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Auriculariaceae  

JELLY EAR

JEW'S EAR

Auricularia auricula-judae

[fungi] Family [Auriculariaceae]

WildFlowerFinder Homepage