E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Auricularia auricula (L.) Underw.
tree-ear
Auriculariaceae

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #73165)

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Distribution of Auricularia auricula
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Species Information

Summary:
Auricularia auricula grows on wood, producing an ear-shaped to inverted cup-shaped fruitbody which is red-brown, cinnamon, yellow-brown, olive-brown, or blackish brown. Flesh is thin rubbery to flabby-gelatinous. The convex upper sterile surface has a dense, silky covering or is minutely hairy. The concave lower fertile surface is smooth. Both surfaces are often irregularly ribbed and veined. According to Ammirati(1), it is "related to Auricularia polytricha, Ho-Elor, which is grown commercially in China and other regions of the Orient". It is said to be edible (Phillips, Lincoff(2)), but is reported to affect blood coagulation, (Lincoff(2)). The edibility value is more in texture than flavor (Lincoff(1)). The distribution includes BC, WA, OR, ID, AB, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PQ, YT, AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, and WV, (Ginns), North America, Europe, and Asia, (Breitenbach), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia, (Raitviir), and Mexico (Lowy).
Fruiting body:
2-8cm wide and extending up to 4cm from where it is growing, margin smooth and sharp, fruiting body attached with or without stem, flesh gelatinous, tough, elastic, and corneous (horny) and hard when dry, returning to original condition when soaked in wat
Microscopic:
spores 17-19 x 6-8 microns, cylindric, slightly curved, smooth, inamyloid, colorless, some with droplets; basidia up to 80 x 7.5 microns, cylindric, with 3 transverse septa, with 3 lateral epibasidia and 1 terminal; cystidia none; hairs on upper side colorless, cylindric, pointed, 80-200 x 5.5-7.5 microns; hyphae gelatinized, branched and some with gnarled outgrowths, 1.5-4 microns across, septa without clamp connections, (Breitenbach), spores 12-14 x 4-6 microns, allantoid, colorless, white in mass; hymenium a dense layer of cylindric-fusiform basidia, (Martin), spore deposit white, (Phillips)

Habitat / Range

limbs and logs with and without bark, slash, on hardwoods and on conifers, associated with a white rot, (Ginns), single, gregarious to clustered, usually on living, damaged, or dead parts of hardwoods, (Breitenbach), scattered or clustered on conifer logs, usually with bark on, often fir, common in the western mountains, in summer, fall, and winter, especially after heavy rains, (Ammirati), "said to fruit in late summer and fall in western U.S., however, in the Rocky Mts. we commonly find it around melting snowbanks", (McKnight), all year (Buczacki)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Auricularia auricula-judae (Bull.: Fr.) Wettst.
Auricularia auricularis (Gray) G.W. Martin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Breitenbach(2)* (as A. auricula-judae), Phillips(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Lincoff(1)*, Miller(14)*, Ammirati(1)*, Ginns(5) (as A. auricula-judae), Martin, G.W.(1), Courtecuisse(1)* (as Auricularia auricula-judae), McKnight(1)*, Raitviir(1), Lowy(2), AroraPocket*

References for the fungi

General References