Jews Ear Auricularia auricula-judae
Size: Approximately 60mms across.
Distribution: Found throughout the UK.
Months seen: All year round.
Habitat: Frequently found on elder and beech trees.
features: The name comes from the story that Judas Iscariot hung himself from an elder tree, and this type of fungi is often found growing on elder trees.
It is pale brown in colour, and really does resemble a human ear in both size, shape and texture. As it gets older it goes black and hard.
It is one of the few fungi which has the ability to withstand freezing temperatures. This is a useful attribute, since it develops new growths in January, which is normally the coldest month of the year in Britain. It can actually freeze solid, and when thawed out shows no ill effects.