Auricularia americana
(Jelly ear, Wood ear, Judas's Ear, Auricularia auricula-judae)
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Location: Colorado
Spore Print: White
Edibility: Edible
Color: Brown

Grows on both decaying hardwoods and conifer logs and sticks. It can be very abundant on Douglas fir in Colorado. It is most noticeable right after periods of rain when it will turn gelatinous. When dry it is much darker in and becomes hard. In fact you may not recognize it until it does rain enough to bring it out. A similar smaller fungus Exidia recisa grows on Gambel's Oak in Colorado.

A close relative Auricularia polytricha has been used for centuries in China as both a food and medicine. It can be found in Chinese restaurants in Hot & Sour soup, egg rolls and other dishes. It is a tasteless fungus which takes on any flavor you give it.

The name Judas's ear originated from Judas Iscariot who was one of the twelve original apostles of Jesus. He committed suicide by hanging himself on an Elm tree. Later it grew this fungus which appeared to be ears. It was said that these were the ears of Judas. It has also been known as the Jew's ear mushroom.

Last Updated:
Jul 24 2022 11:37 AM

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