Saturday, 22 December 2012

Jew's Ear Fungus

The common name of this fungus is seen as politically incorrect in the USA where the name Jelly Ear is being used as an alternative. Why I don't know:  Dicentra cucullaria is known as Dutchman's Breeches and we also have Hottentot Fig (Carpobrotus edulis), so where's the problem? Jew's Ear apparently gets its name from a belief that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from an Elder Tree. Depending on which legend you read he also hanged himself from a Judas Tree (Cercis siliquastrum) and a Hawthorn. He was obviously very thorough.

Anyway, it is a very common fungus which I have only ever found on Elder, although it apparently occurs on other trees. Its Latin name of Auricularia auricula-judaea is a direct translation of its common name. I spotted these specimens yesterday when out on a walk with my friend John Pimm near Charwelton. According to the usual books it is edible. I consulted Google and found a recipe for cooking Jew's Ears with sorrel and ginger. Call me conservative but I can't claim I'm tempted.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tony

    Great Blog Site! My skills in botany and entomology are hopeless so I will follow your blogs with interest. Regards and Merry Christmas!

    Neil McMahon