Auricularia auricula-judae fruit bodies

Auricularia auricula-judae fruit bodies

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Caption: Fruiting bodies of the Jew's Ear fungus, Auricularia auricula-judae, on the surface of a dead branch of elder, Sambucus nigra. The picture shows "ears" at various stages of development. A. auricula can be found throughout the year, and in Britain and Europe is almost always associated with elder. This explains the commonly accepted species name; judae referring to Judas, who is said to have hanged himself from an elder tree. A. auricula is a member of the heterobasidiomycetes, or "jelly fungi", so-called due to the gelatinous nature of the fruitbody. Spores are released from the underside of the fruiting bodies.The "ears" can withstand dehydration, and can persist through dry periods, able to assume their former gelatinous state and release spores, following rain. The fungus is edible if well cooked, but has little merit as a foodstuff.

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Keywords: auricularia auricula-judae, biological, biology, botanical, botany, ear fungus, elder, fungal spores, heterobasidiomycete, jelly fungus, jew's ear fungus, sambucus nigra, saprophyte

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