auricularia auricula

Auricularia auricula-judae

Auricularia auricula-judae (syn. Auricularia auricula, Hirneola auricula-judae) is commonly known as Judas's ear fungus or Jew's Ear, the name from which it derives the "judae" in its scientific name, or as the jelly ear fungus. This jelly fungus is conspicuously ear shaped, ranging from purple to dark brown or black in color with a rubbery texture, and most often found on dead elder trees but also on elms. It was said that Judas hanged himself on an elder tree, which is the origin of the name.

This species is used often in Asian cooking. In Chinese, it is called 木耳 (pinyin: mù ěr, lit. "wood ear" or "tree ear") or 黑木耳 (pinyin: hēi mù ěr, lit. "black wood ear"), and in Japanese it is called kikurage (キクラゲ, lit. "tree-jellyfish"). Auricularia polytricha (cloud ear fungus), a closely related species, is also used in Asian cooking.

Snow fungus, another edible fungus which is white in color, is a separate species, Tremella fuciformis.


  1. Buckzacki, Stefan (1982). Collins Gem Guide: Mushrooms and Toadstools.

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