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  April's
Featured Mushroom





 





This page is used to feature mushrooms that are prevalent for the particular time of the year or, during the winter months, to feature some of the less desirable or hard to find mushrooms. To see some of our previous stars follow this link to an index of previously featured mushrooms.

                April's Mushroom of the Month

Auricularia Auricula-judae: Wood Ear, Tree's Ear, Judas' Ear, Jew's Ear, Cloud's Ear

 Photo Credit: Josh Milburn

This edible, light brown jelly fungus is often used in Chinese cooking.  It is found in stir-fries and in hot and sour soup; cloud’s ears (a translation of the Chinese name) are used more for texture than taste.  The mushroom is usually cut into thin strips (julienned) and dried, the mushroom often blackens when dried.  The scientific name actually refers to Judas Iscariot, the common name jew’s ear is a misnomer derived from the Latin name.

Tree’s ears have a large tan to brown, rubbery cap that ranges from 1 to 6 inches (2.5 to 15 cm.) wide.  The caps are cuplike to ear-shaped.  The underside of the cap is grayish brown.  The tan to brown outer surface has minute hairs.  The cups are smooth to wrinkled and ear-like.  The flesh is thin and gelatinous when fresh and hard and leathery when dried.  There can be a white basal attachment like a very rudimentary stem.  These mushrooms grow singly or in groups on both coniferous and hardwood trees and logs.  The season is May toNovember.  The spore print is white.

Photo Credit: Svdmolen