Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Post 372 - Jolly Eccentric and Fantastic - Jelly Ear Fungus

Jelly Ear Fungus ( Auricularia auricula-judae)
Hey everyone, well I didn't get any pictures of wildlife especially to talk about this weekend, I was meant to be going to Leighton Moss but due to Cumbria's floods I didn't make it that far. I haven't heard if it affected Leighton Moss but I hope not.

To find a species to blog about I looked through my old photos. I've still got a lot of things to identify, but this is one that I could work out quite easily (I hope!). I've been on the look out for this since someone sent me a picture of some last year. The name made me want to find some to see what it was like in real life, and it is just like its name. I found this on a walk in Ripon in October, right at the end of a walk in a lovely woodland I go to quite often. There's lots of different fungi around there but this one is my favourite. Today I'm talking about the Jelly Ear Fungus.

So, what did my research tell me about this fungi?
Some smaller younger growths

  • It seems to have lots of names, all ear related. Wood Ear, Jelly Ear, Sows Ear Judas Ear and Jews Ear. Jelly Ear seems to be the most common though.
  • You can find it through most of the year even in the middle of winter as it doesn't seem to be affected by the cold.
  • It grows on dead Elder trees and is generally 5-15cm across.
  • One of the oldest names for it is Judas Ear and this seems to be linked to the fact it grows on Elder trees as Judas
    from Bible stories hung himself on an Elder tree
  • This fungus grows in Europe, Asia and North America.
  • This mushroom is edible and is used a lot in cooking in Japan and China.
  • In 100g of this fungi there are 284 calories, very little fat but nearly 10% protein.
  • It has sausage shaped spores which give a white spore print.
And a mix here.
  • Not only can you eat this fungus it has been used in places like Japan for its medicinal benefits. 
  • Some of its benefits include its use as an anti-inflammatory, to relieve tonsillitis and also swellings. 
  • I also read that is is a powerful anti-carcinogen and is used to prevent and treat tumours. I'm not sure if this has been scientifically proved but would be great if it has.
  • There are lots of recipes for this fungi but I still think I'll get my mushrooms from the supermarket as you have to be very careful what you pick with fungi as lots are poisonous.
Here's a couple of links to more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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