Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

JELLY EAR FUNGUS

Group of Jelly Ears growing beside elderberry leaves.
April 12th 2013



Judas Iscariot (goes an old tale I'd never heard before until I looked it up) hanged himself on an elderberry tree.

The fungus Auricularia auricula-judae can be found growing on elder trees.

Looking up into a Jelly Ear fungus to see its ear-like whirls.
April 12th 2013



The inside looks like the whirly bits of an ear.

So it got the name 'Judas' Ear' which morphed into 'Jew's Ear' - Jew's Ear Fungus.

Jelly Ear Fungus showing its jelly-ish texture.
April 11th 2013



It looks as if it's made of jelly - the kind you buy in packets of sweets, not the kind you have for pudding - so it's called 'Jelly Ear' as well.

Jelly Ear fungus on an old fallen log.
February 20th 2011

When I first came upon it, it was on a fallen log in a wood and shaped differently. It was more orange than brown. Some had the eary whirls inside but others were smooth arches. (All were low down and in good light and easier to photograph!)

Auricularia auricula-judae at its bell-shaped stage.
April 11th 2013


The fungus in these up-to-date pictures was growing on an elderberry tree - one in the clump we are following. Our very own Jew's Ear on our very own Elderberry tree. (A bit too brittle for hanging on!)


Jew's Ear / Jelly Ear / Auricularia auricula-judae as it withers, extends and dies.
April 11th 2013








All pretty things come to an end. I hope my ears don't look like this when I am old.



Anyone know the source of the legend?

Or who first said Judas gave elderberry leaves their smell by hanging himself on an elder tree?


8 comments:

Rosie Nixon said...

This is a first for me - I've never seen one like this before nor heard the story behind it.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi Rosie. There are so many fungi one is always coming across new ones.

Rowan said...

I'm familiar with Jew's Ear but haven't spotted any so far this year. Must look out for it. First place to look would be the bottom of my garden!

sharon said...

very interesting!

flightplot said...

Fascinating! I know very little about fungi so it's always good to further my knowledge thanks to posts like this. Flighty xx

Donna said...

This is so cool...I love the look and name of it

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

That's a new one to me too - but I love legends so will save this one in my legends book.

We have masses of elderberries in our countryside - forests of them in some places. I am going to do a post on them soon - wonder if they are the same elderberry that you have. Ours have bright red berry clusters.

I'm really enjoying your blog!!!

squirrelbasket said...

That Judas story is a new one on me, too. Elders do tend to be very small, weak and weedy trees, though, don't they?
Love the fungus (and the beautiful green lichen around it).
All the best :)